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Research

WVWVAF relies heavily on Research & Development (R&D) to improve the effectiveness of its programs and tools and increase cost -efficiency. From public opinion surveys to controlled experiments to measure and improve programmatic effectiveness and cost-efficiency, WVWVAF uses a broad array of research instruments to develop and refine programs, tools and tactics designed to educate, mobilize and persuade unmarried women and other key constituencies to participate in our democracy and our government.

Unmarried women are key to reaching other politically under-participating, under-represented groups.  They are the largest segment and the primary driver of the Rising American Electorate (RAE.)  Together unmarried women, people of color and young people make up the majority (53 percent) of the eligible U.S. voters.  And unmarried women make up a large percentage of the Latino and African-American populations and of young people under 30.


New WVWVAF Poll on the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act remains incredibly popular with people of color, unmarried women and other members of the Rising American Electorate, and a plurality in Republican districts and a majority in Democratic districts still support implementing “Obamacare” over repealing it. Overall, while the Affordable Care Act is marginally less popular now than a month ago, 49 percent want to implement the law versus 44 percent who would repeal it, according to the survey of 1,250 likely 2014 voters in the most competitive Congressional seats across the country. Support among the Rising American Electorate (RAE) remains high. RAE members favor implementing Obamacare (58 percent) versus repealing it (35 percent). And they believe Obamacare will make life better for them (46 percent) and not harder (35 percent.) Unmarried women agree, with 42 percent saying the law will make life better, versus 35 percent who think it will make things harder. Poll sponsored by Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund and conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research for Democracy Corps. Full Results (PDF)

38 Percent: National Survey on the New Political Realities for Health Care

A new national survey conducted for Democracy Corps and the Women’s Voices Women’s Vote Action Fund shows an intense new majority for implementing and improving the Affordable Care Act. A minority of voters want to repeal or replace “Obamacare,” which has been the core demand of the Republicans in Congress who have shut down the government. Memo and Highlighted Findings (PDF) Key Findings and Graphs (PDF) Questions and Detailed Breakdown (PDF)

New Research from WVWVAF/Democracy Corps

American voters overwhelmingly favor proposals that would provide women equal treatment in the workplace and help them achieve a work-family balance, a new national survey shows. The poll, sponsored by the Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund and conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and Democracy Corps, found unprecedented levels of support for measures to aid working women. Materials available:

Unmarried Women Deeply Opposed to the Sequester

Unmarried women are deeply opposed to the sharp cuts in the sequester and to a crisis approach to fiscal governance, according to a new study by pollster Stan Greenberg and the Women’s Voices. Women Vote Action Fund (WVWVAF). Based on research conducted during the President’s State of the Union Address, swing voters and unmarried women strongly oppose cuts that would take money away from education, Medicare and job training programs. Full Memo - Graphs

Winning the 47 percent and the future gets Obama back

Single women, people of color and young people – the Rising American Electorate -- voted for change in 2008. To understand the dynamics of this election, Women’s Voices. Women Vote Action Fund and Democracy Corps engaged in a three-phase research project with a particular emphasis on disengaged voters, Obama defectors, and unmarried women. This project included a national survey, focus groups among unmarried and married women in Fairfax, Virginia and Columbus, Ohio, and dial meter research during the first presidential debate with follow up focus groups in Denver, Colorado. What is clear is that unmarried women are more likely to engage and turn out when they are convinced they have a stake in the outcome of the election – and that there is a powerful argument that can be made to persuade them to show up and vote their values. Full Memo Graphs  

Voter Views of Rep. Paul Ryan – Voters in Swing Districts Reject Ryan Budge, Single Women Motivated to Action

As the nation sizes up Rep. Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s running mate, the research conducted for Women’s Voices. Women’s Vote Action Fund by Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner on the Ryan budget provides important insights into how voters may perceive the presumptive vice-presidential nominee. Here are key points from polling done in April in the 56 most competitive, Republican-held districts, and focus group research conducted with single women in April in Boston and Pittsburgh. WOMEN’S VOICES. WOMEN VOTE ACTION FUND/ GREENBERG QUINLAN ROSNER POLLING DATA (April 2012) Bottom line: “The more voters in these Republican districts hear about the Republicans’ newest Ryan budget the more sharply they turn against the Ryan budget … To be sure, Americans remain deeply concerned about government spending—and Republicans do get heard when they talk about how vulnerable our debt makes the country in the long term—but Americans are poised to punish those who would balance the budget on the backs of the poor and the middle class.” 
  • Just 41 percent support the Ryan budget plan, described simply as “a budget for the next 10 years that cuts an additional 5.3 trillion dollars from the federal budget,” with 42 percent opposed.
  • The Ryan budget gets just a third of moderates, who make up more than a third of this electorate.
  • When the budget is described — using as much of Paul Ryan’s description as possible — support collapses 7 points to 34 percent, with just 16 percent strongly supporting the plan.
  • The result is that after voters hear a neutral description of the budget and a balanced debate between Republican arguments for the budget and Democratic attacks against it, the vote shifts a net 9 points, from a six-point vote margin for Republicans to a three-point advantage for Democrats. Importantly, those who shift include key blocs of voters that will be essential to the outcomes in these Republican-held districts in November.
    • The greatest problem in the Ryan budget is the view that it protects the tax position of the wealthy. 64% of all voters said it caused them to doubt incumbents who voted for it. It raised doubts across the board: 68% white seniors 66% white blue collar voters 72% unmarried women independents 67% self-identified moderate voters 71% 45% Romney voters
    • The changes to Medicare in the Ryan Budget create concerns. These were most serious among self-identified moderate voters – 76% independents and weak partisans – 69%, the Rising American Electorate (young people, minority voters and unmarried women) - 69%, seniors – 68% and rural voters – 65%
FOCUS GROUPS AMONG SINGLE WOMEN VOTERS Bottom Line: When presented with some basic facts, specifically the impact the Ryan budget and conservative programs will have on their own lives, voters who were indifferent to voting in 2012 could not wait to make their voices heard. These women generally supported President Obama but they initially expressed little passion about the upcoming election, the stakes in this election for people like themselves, and their choices in 2012. A huge majority of these women knew nothing about the Ryan budget.
  • These women began the focus groups suspicious of both the Republican Congress and Mitt Romney.
  • While women, particularly older and more middle-income women, recognize the budget crisis, the credibility of the Ryan plan and its supporters are undone by the length of time it will take to reach being in the black and by the tax cuts for the wealthy. (“I’ll be long gone by 2040”) 
  • The facts about Republican health and economic policies related to women” carries great power and potential.  When presented with a list of Republican votes and positions against women, the whole atmosphere of the room changed.
  • Voters who were ambiguous about their choices made defeating this agenda a priority.
  • It is important to recognize there is a distinction between viewing a political party as indifferent to their priorities and a party as hostile to their interests.  The former produces a group of voters somewhat ambiguous about their choices in 2012 and listless about voting.   The latter produces an electorate that is angry, engaged and committed to participating. 

Understanding the War on Women and Other Issues


Democrats Gaining in Battleground & Ryan Budget Could Finish the Job

Democrats Gaining in Battleground & Ryan Budget Could Finish the Job Memo on the findings from GQRR's April 2012 Battleground Survey for WVWVAF and Democracy Corps. April Battleground Survey Graphs Graphs from GQRR's April 2012 Battleground Survey for WVWVAF and Democracy Corps.

What Works in Persuasion Mail

In keeping with its mission of testing and measuring the best ways to motivate voters, the Women’s Voice Women Vote Action Fund conducted an unusual experiment that tested the most fundamental assumptions about political persuasion mail.   The results have surprised political practitioners across the nation.

New Phase and Shifting Balance