Democrats are wooing single women — a rising power of a voting bloc, while Republicans spit in their face.
While Republicans at Fox insult single women by calling them “Beyoncé voters” who depend on the government, Democrats embrace them. Specifically all the single ladies out there — a growing and powerful new voting bloc, who tend to vote for Democrats. They’re even calling their new get out the vote push ROSIE, as in Rosie the Riveter, Re-engaging our Sisters in Elections. (Yes, Beyoncé has paid homage to Rosie.)
DCCC Executive Director Kelly Ward explained ROSIE to NPR’s Mara Liasson in May, “We can identify a voter by their marital status and then match that to a turnout model that helps us identify those unmarried women who when they vote they will vote for Democrats, but are not likely to vote this cycle. We want to go after those voters and start a conversation with them about how this election has a stake in their lives and why they should care about it.” And now, post Hobby Lobby, Democrats have quite the calling card.
Jackie Calmes broke down the numbers in the New York Times Wednesday morning:
Half of all adult women over the age of 18 are unmarried — 56 million, up from 45 million in 2000 — and now account for one in four people of voting age. (Adult Hispanics eligible to vote, a group that gets more attention, number 25 million this year.) Single women have become Democrats’ most reliable supporters, behind African-Americans: In 2012, two-thirds of single women who voted supported President Obama. Among married women, a slim majority supported Mitt Romney.
She points out that the Democratic party isn’t asleep at the wheel. They’re wide awake and they’re wooing these voters:
Democrats and allied groups say they are wooing single women — young and old, highly educated and working class, never married and divorced or widowed — with unmatched ardor. They have seized on this week’s ruling by the Supreme Court’s conservative majority, five men, that family-owned corporations do not have to provide birth control in their insurance coverage, to add to their arguments that the Democrats, not the Republicans, represent the interests of women.
Democrats will be using the historical Republican assault on women’s rights (the legislation pushed by Republicans since the 2010 midterms is enough to make thinking people despair for their country) to motivate women to the polls.
This growing and powerful voting bloc is why I wrote that the Supreme Court (and the GOP) would be sorry about Monday’s Hobby Lobby decision. Just to seal the deal, the Court even took Republicans’ one talking point away from them, by clarifying that they did indeed intend their ruling to be taken broadly. That translates to all forms of birth control that an employer can decide they don’t want to offer women in their healthcare insurance, because they have feelings about women using contraception. These feelings rarely seem to translate into any sense at all, leaving these folks making an argument against all contraception just so that they can get Obama. They call this position anti-abortion (aka, in their inaccurate parlance, “pro-life”), but of course it’s the opposite, since contraception is the single best way to reduce abortions.
As recent elections have shown, this bloc doesn’t turn out for midterms but they make a difference in presidential elections. However, they made a huge difference in Virginia after the Republican Party turned off even Republican women by running what was then seen as an extremist — but is now the norm — misogynistic, woman-hater candidate who thinks he knows a lot more about a woman’s body than he does.
But the Supreme Court just gave Democrats a way to mobilize this voting bloc that doesn’t usually turn out in midterm elections. The court handed it to Democrats on a silver platter. The conservatives on the court might be activists, but they aren’t the brightest activists going. Maybe they’re being instructed by Karl Rove, and we all know thug is out.
Since single women are on the rise, Republicans have gone out of their way to demonstrate their contempt for single women. Instead of trying to woo single women, Republicans choose to try to control them via shame, as if they have no idea what decade it is.
Women hold tremendous power in their hands; they can force their needs and the needs of their children to be heard – but first, they have to vote. In every election.
Five men who couldn’t find their way around a female body or science or medicine to save themselves — obviously, or they would know that contraception is often used for medical purposes — just made a decision to spit in the face of all women who have ever used contraception. They shouldn’t have the power to make decisions about issues they clearly do not understand. A Democratic Congress could pass new legislation to protect women from the conservative SCOTUS.
Republicans have gone out of their way to shame women for needing contraception; their newest talking point is that birth control is only nine dollars, so get off your lazy slut butts and pay for it yourselves. (Republican civility is at a low point, or what one hopes is their low point.) It’s as if they want a teeny, tiny tent.
In the meantime, the Democratic Party is putting a ring on it.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.