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Unmarried Women Have the Power to Decide the 2016 Election

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The conventions are in the rear view mirror. Pollsters are working furiously to parse the numbers on how the electorate is shaping up.

Specifically under the microscope will be women. 2012 exit polls confirmed that they were 53 percent of all voters.

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PageDonald S. Gardner, Founder and President of Women's Voices Women Vote Action Fund (WVWVAF), has been at the front of this conversation for over a decade. She was an early adopter of the philosophy that women were not a "monolithic" bloc. Beyond looking at at the gender gap (the difference between the support of a candidate by men and women), Gardner understood that an examination needed to be more nuanced.

Gardner posited that the best prism through which to analyze statistics was the difference in attitudes between married and unmarried women.

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Unmarried women includes the singletons who have not tied the knot -- and the swath of women who are separated, divorced, and widowed.

In 2003, Gardner began engaging unmarried women in the electoral process. She has since expanded her sights to encompass a wider group of those who are under-represented: The Rising American Electorate (RAE). This classification goes beyond the unmarried women sector to embrace people of color and millennials. The result is a 56.7 percent bloc of eligible voters -- who have predominately progressive values.

WVWVAF put together a road map for examining the women's vote from a series of perspectives. One of the top deductions was that women are not enamored with Donald Trump. It found that 63 percent viewed him unfavorably, with the addendum that 58 percent viewed him very unfavorably. For unmarried women, that number elevated to a 74 percent unfavorable.

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36,717,656 unmarried women voted in the 2012 Presidential election. That comprised 28.9 percent of all votes. Conversely, in 2012, 31 percent were not registered to vote. Still, it is one of the most rapidly growing groups in the country.

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http://www.mgyerman.com

Marcia G. Yerman is a writer, activist, artist and curator based in New York City. Her articles--profiles, interviews, reporting and essays--focus on women's issues, the environment, human rights, the arts and culture. Her writing has been (more...)
 

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