Democrats Courting Single Women in Effort to Retain Senate

Thursday, 03 Jul 2014 08:02 AM

By Elliot Jager

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To hold the U.S. Senate, Democrats are counting on an emerging bloc of unmarried women voters, The New York Times reported.

The number of unmarried women over 18 in the U.S. stands at 56 million — or half of all adult women. This cohort voted overwhelmingly for President Barack Obama in 2012.

Single women also dependably vote Democratic in House contests. And in last year's tight Virginia governor's race, Terry McAuliffe benefited by carrying unmarried female voters by 42 points. But unmarried women tend not to turn out — especially in non-presidential election years, the Times reported.

The Democrats' message is that Republicans are on the wrong side of such issues as the minimum wage, college tuition aid, abortion and birth control, according to the Times.

Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg and party strategist James Carville called in May on Democrats "to make major targeted efforts aimed at unmarried women," the Times reported.

In a voter-mobilization program termed Rosie, for Re-engaging Our Sisters in Elections, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is using the latest technology to find Democratic-leaning women to bring to the polls in 2014.

Their participation in Alaska, Colorado, Iowa, Michigan and North Carolina could determine whether Democrats retain their majority in the Senate.

In North Carolina, for instance, Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan, described her strategy as, "Heels on the ground."

Democrats say that Hagan's GOP opponent, state House Speaker Thom Tillis, supports tax cuts, favors spending less on education and unemployment benefits, and opposes abortion.
He is also against expanding Medicaid coverage. All are issues Democrats believe speak to unmarried and economically pressed women, according to the Times.

Liberal groups such as Emily's List and Planned Parenthood are also mobilizing to deliver this key demographic bloc to the Democratic camp in November.

"I have never been especially political," said Jenny Spencer, 26, a single lab worker who was attending a demonstration in Raleigh outside the Republican-controlled state legislature. "But in the last year or so I think it's become increasingly important in North Carolina not just to have your own views but to really make a point of advocating them," the Times reported.

Republicans have been battling Democratic efforts to portray them as unsympathetic toward women. "Our party needs to take seriously the Democrats' efforts to turn out single women," said Republican consultant Katie Packer Gage on Twitter.

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