An analysis of exit polls coming from the 2008 primaries thus far reveals that unmarried women are turning out in record numbers - in fact turnout equals a sum greater than either their population or proportion of registered voters would suggest. While the hotly contested primaries have increased turnout among other demographic groups too, for progressives, unmarried women will be the group to watch through the rest of the primary cycle and into the general as these women-on-their-own comprise the largest block of progressive voters in the country.

Key Findings

  • The single woman’s voting commitment began in the Iowa Democratic caucuses where unmarried women made up 26 percent of the electorate. It continued through New Hampshire and other early primaries, and culminated on Super Tuesday where unmarried women also made up 26 percent of the vote share in the Democratic primary. All of these turnout figures for unmarried America represent a higher number than suggested by their population proportion.
  • In 2006, unmarried women voted 66 to 32 percent for Democrats in congressional races, capping off a long-term trend of progressive success among these voters - and in 2008 polling, unmarried women post similar margins in trial heats for Congress.


Report: Unmarried Women Continue to Make Their Voices Heard (PDF - 5 K)

Graphs: Unmarried Women & Turnout (PDF - 16 K)