A new study concludes that single women could be the “soccer moms” of the 2004 election. So-called soccer moms — married, suburban women — were seen as an important voting bloc in the 2000 election. This time around, some are touting the potential impact of so-called “NASCAR dads,” but researcher Page Gardner says single women could tip the balance in many races.Gardner says there’s been a huge voting gap between married and unmarried Americans, with a greater proportion of married citizens voting compared to unmarried Americans. And Gardner says single women vote at a lower rate than single men.Gardner says “unmarried women should no longer be allowed to sit on the sidelines of our democracy.” Gardner used census data and voting trends and discovered that if single women had voted in 2000 at the same rate as married women, there would have been six million more votes cast nationwide. Gardner calls the numbers “astounding.” In Iowa, she says if unmarried women had voted at the same rate as their married counterparts in 2000, there would have been over 31-thousand more votes cast here and as you’ll recall, Al Gore won Iowa by just a four-thousand vote margin. Gardner says single women, many of whom are raising a family on their own, don’t feel as if politicians ignore their concerns.Gardner says single women feel as if they’re on the “economic margin” of society. Gardner says single women are the group most dissatisfied with the direction the country’s headed. In the last election, married women favored George Bush by a narrow margin, but single women favored Al Gore by a 30-percent margin. Gardner says in 2000, nearly 22 million unmarried women who were registered to vote did not, while another 16 single women who were eligible to vote didn’t even register. Gardner’s “women’s Voices, Women’s Vote” project will launch voter registration efforts nationwide.
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