Marital status is a key predictor of electoral participation and preferences. And two new polls from Gallup and Democracy Corps strongly reinforce that fact. Married registered voters prefer Republican challenger Mitt Romney over Democratic President Barack Obama by 54% to 39%, according to Gallup data collected from June to August. On the other hand, unmarried voters strongly favor President Obama over Romney, 56% to 35%.
In Democracy Corps’ new poll, Obama leads by 5 points on the ballot, 50 to 45 percent against Mitt Romney. All of the President’s gains came the Rising American Electorate—young people, minorities, and unmarried women. Obama is now winning 68 percent of unmarried women – matching his 2008 level with this group.
And the new Gallup analysis confirms what WVWVAF has known to be true for several cycles, that demographics alone do not explain the marriage-voting relationship. A special multivariate statistical analysis found that marriage remains an important predictor of support for Romney vs. Obama even after controlling for age, race, income, gender, education, religiosity, region, and whether a voter has minor children.
So, as the number of polls increases between now and Election Day, look for marital status, not the gender gap, to be a key determinant of how and where the electorate is moving.