Poll: Married and unmarried voters don't see eye to eye over election
July 11th, 2012
06:00 AM ET
2 years ago

Poll: Married and unmarried voters don't see eye to eye over election

(CNN) – There's a large marriage gap in the race for the White House, according to a new national poll.

A Quinnipiac University survey released Wednesday morning indicates that President Barack Obama holds a 54%-34% lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney among non-married voters, while the presumptive GOP nominee leads the president 51%-38% among married voters.

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"Although much has been made about the gender gap and how President Barack Obama's lead among women fuels his campaign, the marriage gap is actually larger and more telling," says Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"The marriage gap may be related to the different priorities and economic situations of married and single people," adds Brown. "Married people are more likely to be older, more financially secure and more socially conservative than unmarried voters. The married column includes more Republicans and more white voters. Married voters are more likely to focus on the economy and health care, while single voters are more focused on issues such as gay rights and reproductive issues."

Quinnipiac is not alone in indicating a marriage gap. A look at the most recent demographics from the Gallup Daily Tracking poll also indicate Obama with a double digit advantage among non-married voters and Romney with a double digit advantage among those who are married.

The marriage gap is nothing new. Exit polls from the past two presidential elections indicate that Obama and Sen. John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic nominee, won the non-married vote, while Sen. John McCain, the 2008 GOP nominee, and President George W. Bush carried the married vote.

Among all registered voters, the poll indicates that Obama has a slight 46%-43% edge over Romney, which is just within the survey's sampling error.

Other findings from the poll: Independent voters are divided, with 43% backing Romney and 41% supporting Obama. And registered voters are split over whether Obama or Romney would do a better job on the economy.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted July 1-8, with 2,722 registered voters nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 1.9 percentage points.

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Filed under: 2012 • Polls
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Marie MD

    Another useless poll.
    I still haven't found anyone who wants to vote for the bishop. This includes rethugs and Democrats! Married, unmarried, gay, blacks, latinos, women and anyone with half a brain!
    A co worker who thought the old man and the AK bimbo were it says that he would rather not vote in 2012! Yeah, keep on dreaming abusive bully!
    bain anyone? WHERE ARE THE BISHOP's 2011 TAXES!!!!!?????

    July 11, 2012 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
  2. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    How is this representative? Did the married group include those that are effectively married (couples living together) or not? That might change the results.

    July 11, 2012 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  3. King

    these white married folks better wake up and stop drinking the coolaide the repubs are feeding them. this is a global economy now, this is not Reagan or even Clinton era. the whole world is competing for American jobs now. American are at a disadvantage, just because of our middle class wages. I wonder if shareholders will allow their corporation to stay in america, when they can tripple their money in China. why do you think big businesses and China are fighting to elect m secretive mitten. because mitten is their secret ace that big businesses needs to sell their goods in china, and China needs mitten to get more powerful than america. you haven't seen money pouring into mitten campaign yet, because the Chinese know how gullible the American people are, so the repubs can say a lie, and it doesn't matter how rediculous it is, all they have to do is put a couple million behind it, and the gullible eat it up every time.

    July 11, 2012 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  4. Gotta Be Kiddin

    So I wonder when the poll will come out showing how cat and dog owners will vote! This is getting silly.

    July 11, 2012 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  5. Mark L.

    "A Quinnipiac University survey released Wednesday morning indicates that President Barack Obama holds a 54%-34% lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney among non-married voters, while the presumptive GOP nominee leads the president 51%-38% among married voters." AGREED – I am single, 50-years young and support President Obama ALL THE WAY !!!! Mitt Romney can GO FLY A KITE !!!!

    July 11, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  6. buttermybuttandcallmeabiscuit

    Old white southern woman for Obama! I may be rare, but I'm fiesty.

    July 11, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  7. Babyboomer

    I'll bet the married numbers are flawed because I know a lot of married women who have and are voting for President Obama but not telling their husbands. Some of these women's husbands are voting based on the President being someone other than a white male and these ladies have no intentions of going back to the 1950's way of life Romney and their husbands want. These wives will likely carry this particular secret to their graves but just know I have lots of female co-workers who feel this way.

    July 11, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  8. Mike

    What an inane, unscientific study and article. This is a manufactured "trend" which may only reflect an age gap, not a marriage gap. I can only assume that because they did not even mention normalizing for age differences, means they did not do it

    July 11, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  9. DC Johnny

    One of the reasons for this is the way the ACA and other tax regulations affect married couples. I have colleagues whose taxes are thousands of dollars higher as a married couple than if they had filed separately. Just another way the Obama administration penalizes the hardworking, responsible people of America.

    July 11, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  10. Charlie

    I was married, now single. I do not support either of these clowns. Although Obama's policies are hurting me much more than conservative policies..

    July 11, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  11. steve

    well of course, look at the minorities who refuse to get married. of course, they have kids, but when they get married they can't get aid to dependent children. when is america gonna wake up. as the black woman, about finding a suitable man to marry. i mean a real professional black woman. not the ghetto girls who sleep with anything that moves.

    July 11, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  12. enuff

    I'm white, married and will vote for Obama. We do not discuss politics in the house because it doesn't do any good.

    July 11, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  13. Expat American

    2,650 cats were polled by telephone. 54% of pampered Himalayan cats support Romney, while 63% of working middle class tabbies support President Obama. The rest could not figure out how to operate the automated system due to their lack of thumbs.
    Bring on the debates and then let’s have look at polls.

    July 11, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  14. Sniffit

    "How is this representative? Did the married group include those that are effectively married (couples living together) or not? That might change the results."

    Good point. Even more telling is the fact that an entire segment of society doesn't get to call itself "married" because of other married couples being total bigots. Were gay couples counted, CNN? Or did Quinnipiac pretend they don't exist just like the GOP/Teatrolls want us all to do?

    July 11, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  15. Sniffit

    "We do not discuss politics in the house because it doesn't do any good."

    Apparently it doesn't do much good outside of the house either. Just look at this mess. I've seen dogs after eating a Snickers Bar make less mess.

    July 11, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  16. Chris

    My take on this is that married people are generally those that work hard, pay their bills, and live within their means more so thatn single people. In short, they don't rely on the government as much as single / unmarried people. There are obviously many, many exceptions each way and everyone has 3 or 4 different examples they can throw out there to support an argument either way. However, statistically it makes sense that married people are generally slightly better off than single people and that they would prefer to not live in a welfare state anytime soon. As younger liberals get married, have a family, make money, and begin to look at things from the perspective of a succesful and productive member of society their views generally change and swing towards less government and less welfare. In short, it gets harder to buy their vote with welfare payments (which is is basically anything the government gives you for doing nothing.)

    July 11, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  17. Sniffit

    "I still haven't found anyone who wants to vote for the bishop."

    Indeed. The only person I know who wants Mittens is my boss...and for quite obvious reasons given his wealth. Even my dad, a staunch conservative, considers Mittens to be a feckless, slimey, flip-flopping eel who cannot be trusted. He believes the GOP/Teatrolls already blew it and didn't take and aren't taking our issues seriously...and he won't be showing up at the polls at all. He's not the only conservative to feel like that: even renowned judge Posner, a noted conservative, said he thinks the GOP has become "goofy" and doesn't identify with them any longer. I say all this because I'm willing to bet it's not just me who is witnessing this exact same kind of dynamic in terms of the people we interact with on a daily basis. The idea that it's the extremely wealthy and extremist conservative ideologues (i.e., conservatives who are such true believers that they're not turned off by the GOP/Teatrolls' antics)...that THEY are the one's running the right wing's show is not fantasy talk. It's borne out daily in observing the world and people around us....just not in the MSM, because infotainment isn't journalism.

    July 11, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  18. George

    Presidential elections were virtually meaningless to me until I got married. I voted for the candidate who I "liked" more than the other, but I never felt like the result would have any impact on my life. But when I got married, and took on a mortgage, a few kids, a couple of cars, I realized how important the economy was to my life and livelihood. Marriage comes with a bunch of responsibilities that makes the choice of president important.

    July 11, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  19. tellin it like it is

    not surprising as a lot of single unmarried mothers of 6 by 6 different men are being supported by the tax payers and will always support the democrats because they believe nobody should be responsible for their actions or life. except now all of a sudden they use the term free rider and attack them when trying to defend obamacare. the entire democratic party base is comprised of these free riders. are the democrats starting to turn on each other?

    July 11, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  20. George

    sniffit – Yeah, let's turn this into yet another whining session about g@y marriage. They make up less than 3% of the population and a small percentage form long-term couples. They wouldn't make a blip in the poll.

    July 11, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  21. Sniffit

    "My take on this is that married people are generally those that work hard, pay their bills, and live within their means more so thatn single people. In short, they don't rely on the government as much as single / unmarried people. There are obviously many, many exceptions each way and everyone has 3 or 4 different examples they can throw out there to support an argument either way. However, statistically it makes sense that married people are generally slightly better off than single people and that they would prefer to not live in a welfare state anytime soon. As younger liberals get married, have a family, make money, and begin to look at things from the perspective of a succesful and productive member of society their views generally change and swing towards less government and less welfare. In short, it gets harder to buy their vote with welfare payments (which is is basically anything the government gives you for doing nothing.)"

    How cute. You've constructed a comfortable fantasy world to live in. Enjoy!

    July 11, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  22. Independent For President Obama

    Been married longer than some of you have been living and we are voting for President Obama.

    July 11, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  23. Marie MD

    @steve, your racism is showing! I know plenty of single white women with children(most because they can only find men like yiu and who wants them) and both black and white unmarried who have ot don't have children!

    July 11, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  24. v_mag

    So, was this a poll limited to monogamous married people, or were polygamous Mormons also included? Take the latter out and you might have a slightly different picture.

    When Christians think of "Bishop" Rob-money, they should remember that passage from Matthew where Jesus says, "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven". Is he really someone a Christian should vote for?

    July 11, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  25. Sniffit

    "not surprising as a lot of single unmarried mothers of 6 by 6 different men are being supported by the tax payers and will always support the democrats because they believe nobody should be responsible for their actions or life. except now all of a sudden they use the term free rider and attack them when trying to defend obamacare. the entire democratic party base is comprised of these free riders. are the democrats starting to turn on each other?"

    Yeah man...and they all drive brand new Cadillacs with kickboxes in the trunk and sit on the sofa all day like Jabba the Hutt scarfing down ho-hos and smokin the doob while watching Oprah, right??? Right????? Amirite????

    July 11, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
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