November 7, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - As the dust settles around last night’s election, the conventional wisdom is that Obama claimed the nation’s female vote. Some analysts, however, are pointing out that marital status appears to have been a more significant factor in the voting booth than gender.
According to polling data released by MSNBC, Obama carried the majority of the female vote over-all, at 55%. However, of the married women polled, 53% voted for Romney and 46% for Obama. In contrast, unmarried women favored Obama over Romney by a huge margin of 67% to 31%.
According to Brad Wilcox, Director of the National Marriage Project and Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia, the data suggests that the President’s message resonates specifically with those women living the consequences of family breakdown.
“Single mothers are more likely to depend on a generous welfare state and therefore to identify with the expansive governmental vision of the Democratic Party,” Wilcox told LifeSiteNews. “By contrast, married mothers are less likely to depend on the welfare state and therefore to identify with the limited government philosophy of the Republican Party.”
He added: “Married women are more likely to have a pro-life worldview, and unmarried women are more likely to have a pro-choice worldview.”
Wilcox’s analysis is consistent with a candid strategy memo released by the liberal-leaning Greenberg Quinlan Rosser research firm just before the 2008 election that landed Obama the Presidency.
“Unmarried women represent one of the most reliable Democratic cohorts in the electorate,” the memo read.
The memo claimed that what this demographic wanted most was “health care that can never be taken away from them,” noting that this priority was unsurprising given the “economic insecurity” and lack of a “real support network” faced by single women.
In comments to US News just before Tuesday’s election, Page Gardner, Director of the Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund, projected that the “marriage gap” in voting preference had grown.
“Support for Obama by young, single, female voters is driven in part by the Democrats’ focus on women’s health issues,” she said.
The Obama campaign has been aggressive in emphasizing the President’s stance in favor of abortion, as well as state and employer-funded contraception.
The campaign released five separate ads attacking Mitt Romney’s stance on abortion, and attempting to paint the Republican candidate as a pro-life extremist. Romney responded to the attacks with an ad that soft-peddled his stance.
Obama’s focus on the issue of free birth control has been perhaps even more fanatic, in some cases prompting ridicule from his opponents.
As part of a serious of e-cards for women posted on the campaign website, a card from a daughter to a mother claimed that the girl would have to pay $18,000 for birth control access over the course of her lifetime if the Affordable Care Act was repealed. Commentators quickly pointed out that since many stores provided month-long supplies of birth control pills for under $10, it would take a woman over 100 years to burn $18,000 on birth control.
More recently, the campaign released a controversial ad in which a young woman talks about her experience voting for Obama as if it was her first time having sex.
“Your first time shouldn’t be with just anybody. You want to do it with a great guy,” she says. “Somebody who really cares about and understands women. A guy who cares about whether you get health insurance, and specifically whether you get birth control.”