Obama Leads McCain in Battleground States Among Single Women

Unmarried women -- often dubbed the "Sex and the City" vote -- overwhelmingly support Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., over Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in key battleground states, according to a recent poll.

Single, divorced, separated, and widowed women voters in 14 battleground states favor the presumptive Democratic nominee over his Republican rival by 61 to 29 percent, according to a Democratic poll commissioned for Women's Voices Women Vote Action Fund , an advocacy group for unmarried women voters.

Those findings jibe with the latest ABC News poll released in July, which found Obama leading McCain nationally among unmarried women voters 59 to 32 percent.

"Unmarried women are to progressives what evangelicals are to the conservative movement," Page Gardner, founder and president of Women's Voices Women Votes, told ABCNews.com.

But the Democratic poll also found that Obama continues to struggle with support from unmarried women who are also white seniors, white women who haven't gone to college, white women with children, and women making less than $30,000 a year.

While 56 percent of white senior unmarried women are Democrats or lean Democrat, only 48 percent are backing Obama, an eight point margin. Among unmarried white women with no college education, 54 percent are or lean Democratic, but 44 percent back Obama, a 10 point margin.

"This issue for Obama is true with the electorate overall," said Anna Greenberg, a Democratic pollster working with Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, the firm that conducted the poll of unmarried women in battleground states.

"But regardless, there's this sort of gap that he's got to figure out if he wants to grow the margin among unmarried women," she said.

The findings of the Democratic poll were based on a survey of over 1,000 registered, unmarried voters in the battleground states of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Single Women Fastest Growing Demographic

The upward trend in unmarried women could help Obama in November because single women are one of the most reliable Democratic voting groups, Gardner said. Exit poll results going back to 1992 show an overwhelming majority of unmarried women reliably voting for the Democratic candidate.

However, unmarried women tend to be cynical about politics. And while the unmarried women group is growing faster and faster, they do not reliably turn out to vote. Single women are less likely to register, and less likely to vote.

"Their lives are incredibly stretched," Gardner said, "so unmarried women tend to not be active seekers of political information."

In 2004, 20 million unmarried women didn't participate in the election. Women's Voices Women Vote has launched a campaign to try to increase the number of unmarried registered voters, creating public service announcements featuring Hollywood actresses, including Julia Louis-Dreyfus of "Seinfeld" fame.

In August, Gardner will mail 6.5 million voter registration applications to unmarried women in 35 states, along with information about the candidates' positions.

"There's a real information gap for these women," Greenberg said. "So, the best way to get them information is a non-rhetorical, side-by-side sort of comparison of where the candidates stand on the issues."

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