Pay Attention, Pollsters: 9 in 10 Single Women Are "Almost Certain" They'll Vote In 2016

 ·  Mattie Kahn, ELLE Magazine   ·   Link to Article

For a population that is too often treated like a special-interest group, unmarried women have become one of the most critical voting blocs in the United States. At least, so says Rebecca Traister, author of the stunning new book, All the Single Ladies. As her latest work observes, more women join these Miss Independent ranks each year, staying single longer than ever before. 

And on the eve of the Iowa caucuses and an contentious GOP debate this evening, they want you to know: They're going to be heard at the ballot box—whether Donald Trump likes the sound of their voices or not. The Republican frontrunner (yes, still) has dominated yet another news cycle this week, deciding to sit out the GOP debate on Fox tonight rather than go toe-to-toe with moderator Megyn Kelly, who he has derided as a "lightweight reporter" since she reminded him over the summer of his track record with women at the first Republican debate. "You've called women you don't like 'fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals,'" she said, before reviewing his long history of misogyny and gendered intimidation. "Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president?" 

Well, no. In fact, definitely not. 

 

The latest American Women Web survey published in ELLE Magazine's March issue finds that 86 percent of  single women (and 84% of all women) said that "they'd be unlikely to vote for a candidate who referred to women as "fat pigs," "dogs," "slobs," "disgusting animals," or bimbos," "even if they generally supported the candidate's policy position." And the data is no liberal conspiracy: 73 percent of Republican women were in total agreement. 

Attention, candidates! You're going to want to listen to this: 9 in 10 unmarried women told surveyors that they're "almost certain" they'll vote for president in 2016. But sexist rhetoric isn't going to decide the election. Women want to back candidates who support policies that are important to them. So, let's get personal, shall we? 

The data shows that the significant majorities of unmarried women would go to bat for candidates who value equal pay for equal work and tax credits and subsidies for child care. 8 in 10 added that they're be much or somewhat more likely to vote for a candidate who lets them plan their own families and maintain full control over their reproductive health, which, yes, is still up for discussion in 2016. 

And while pundits parse the latest polls out of Iowa and New Hampshire, real, live single women are happy to tell you how Bernie and Hillary make them feel. Despite the much-tweeted-about "enthusiasm gap" that some say has derailed the Clinton campaign, the poll reports that millennial women are more likely to get all warm and fuzzy for Hillz than they are for Bern. Among younger respondents, her favorability ranking was four percentage points higher than his. Take the temperature of  women of all ages, and the results are unequivocal: 49 percent of single women get a "warm, favorable feeling" when they think about Hillary. Marco Rubio, that charmer, elicited chillier responses. Only 18 percent felt the same way about him.  

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