The gender gap is famous and familiar. In general, and again in this year’s presidential race, women favor Democrats by a wide margin and men favor Republicans.
Less famous, but also present in all recent elections, is a huge gap between the preferences of married versus unmarried Americans. Gallup has a fresh analysis out, showing that among registered voters, it breaks down thus.
- Among married registered voters: Romney-54; Obama-39
- Among single registered voters: Obama-56; Romney-35.
Gallup tracks the recent history of the marriage gap and shows that it has been significant, along the same partisan lines, in the previous four presidential elections as well (and very likely before that).
Is there something about being single that makes you like Democrats and something about getting married that turns you Republican? I don’t think there’s much evidence of that. Single voters are more likely to be young, poor, of color , gay or lesbian — all groups that favor Democrats generally and Obama in particular.
Gallup breaks the unmarrieds into categories and finds significant differences, thus:
Category of singleness/ percentage supporting Obama:
- Domestic partners: 62%
- Never married: 61%
- Separated: 58%
- Divorced: 51%
- Widow-widower: 45.
Just for comparison purposes, a recent measure of the gender gap, this one in a New York Times/CBS poll, has it this way:
- Among women: Obama, 53; Romney 41.
- Among Men: Romney, 48; Obama, 42.