by Max Brantley
The New York Times focuses today on the political leanings of what it describes as one of the country's fastest growing demographic groups — single women.
They lean Democratic, surveys suggest, but the Times says:
...they are also fickle about casting their ballots, preoccupied with making ends meet and alienated from a political system they say is increasingly deaf to their concerns.
But the Obama campaign, needing their support to offset traditional Republican strength among married women, is lavishing attention on them. Mr. Obama and his allies are highlighting issues like Mr. Romney’s support for cutting federal funds to Planned Parenthood, which they say resonate with single women and that help draw a contrast between the two sides. A new Obama ad calling Mr. Romney “out of touch” with average women on health and contraception issues began running last weekend in battleground states.
“It’s a very Democratic voting population, but it’s not registered or turning out at the same rate as their married counterparts,” said Celinda Lake, a Democratic pollster who has canvassed single women for the Voter Participation Center in Washington, pointing out that Mr. Obama had won among single women by a wide margin, but lost married women by three percentage points.
The economy has been tough on single working women, something that works against an incumbent. At the same time, they are supportive of government programs that the president champions.
These trend stories invariably leave a question or two. Such as: If the niche of single women is growing rapidly, shouldn't the niche of single men also be growing rapidly?