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The Unmarried Electorate: 60% Obama, 33% McCain

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Want to see a landslide of truly historic proportions? Come November 4, 2008, let single people rule! Registered voters who are unmarried (divorced, widowed, or have always been single) favor Obama over McCain, 60% to 33%. Married people, in contrast, favor McCain, 50% to 43%.

But where is the love? When was the last time you heard about this demographic juggernaut on Morning Joe? Where are the network stories or the feature articles in newspapers or magazines? Research 2000, the source for the polling data reported by the Daily Kos, does not even ask about marital status.

Maybe visions of stereotypes are dancing in pundits' heads, and they think that the single vote is the same as the youth vote. But even if you subtract all of the 18-29 year olds from the 93 million unmarried Americans who are 18 or older, you still have 57 million single people left.

Unmarried America is totally unwavering in its preference for Obama. In Gallup polling results dating back to early June, the lowest level of support ever recorded was 52%. Singles are interested in politics, and in their positions on significant issues, they are often on the vanguard -- eventually, the rest of society catches up with them.

Single people are generally a resilient lot, but they have a real vulnerability with regard to one of the most alarming issues of our time -- the tanking economy. They'd like to hear some smart solutions.

Obama, 60% to 33%. That's the potential. But the numbers are for registered voters, who have to show up (or mail it in) to make their votes count. So how about it, Barack? You've got an entire 30 minutes of primetime television coming up. Why not ask for the votes of people who are single?


Bella DePaulo is the author of Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After.