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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Why Election May Depend on Single Women Voters

From “House Dems: Focus on ‘all the single ladies‘” by Deirdre Walsh, CNN Senior Congressional Producer:

The results of the 2012 election show why Democrats believe they have an opening if they concentrate on single women.
According to CNN’s exit polls, unmarried women were about one quarter of the electorate in 2012, which was a record high. In that election, single women voted 68%-31% for Democrats over Republicans in congressional contests.
Democrats admit they can’t replicate that level in a non-presidential year, but they believe boosting turnout in several dozen districts can overtake the advantage Republicans traditionally have among married women…A poll released last month by Democracy Corps, a Democratic leaning group, projects a 20-point drop off in unmarried female voters from 2012 to 2014…
The House Democratic campaign arm is using the playbook developed by Virginia’s Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe in his victorious 2013 campaign.
McAuliffe lost among men, but won the election because women supported him over the then-Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli by 9 points. Among unmarried women, the margin was more dramatic — McAuliffe prevailed 67% -25%.
The campaign committee created “ROSIE,” a voter modeling program named after the iconic World War II “Rosie the Riveter,” which they say stands for “Reengaging Our Sisters in Elections.” This program culls data to identify unmarried voters, and then targets messages using email, paid mail and social media to motivate them to vote in November.
The task to get these women motivated enough to go to the polls will be tough.

Nearly everyone agrees that Democrats are not going to win back a House majority in November. But if ‘Rosie’ and other Dem GOTV projects are good enough to reduce the projected 20 percent drop-off in single women voters by, say, a fourth, Democrats can cut the GOP’s House margin significantly and set the stage for a 2016 takeover.

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