This is a turning point in the 2014 off-year elections when parties, candidates, and leaders can recognize how central are unmarried women and the Rising American Electorate to the Democrats’ chances and how clear a path there is to get their votes and get them to vote. This is the main finding of the most recent survey and focus groups from Democracy Corps and Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund. This report should be a call to arms, a populist call to arms that sets up the stakes in these terms:
It’s critical to vote in November. If Republicans win, big money will get its way, and even more hard-working women and men will be drowning. You can change that. We have an economic plan, including a women’s economic agenda. When the middle class succeeds, America succeeds.
This populist set-up, along with the “in-your-shoes” narrative about people’s economic struggles, and a policy agenda that includes equal pay and equal health insurance, help for working mothers and help with better jobs through raised minimum wage and more affordable college, shifts the race from one where Democrats trail by 1 point to one in which they are ahead by 3. It also dramatically increases the turnout and Democratic preference of unmarried voters.
- Unmarried women can make or break the election in 2014.
- When 2014 likely voters are exposed to empathetic “in your shoes” messaging and an economic agenda for working women and men, it shifts the vote from -1 to +3.
- When unmarried women are exposed to the same message framework, they shift from +17 Democratic margin to +31 and their turnout increases by 10 points.
- The economic agenda for working women and men includes a cluster of powerful policies on helping working mothers, equal pay and equal health insurance, raising the minimum wage and making college affordable to get to better jobs.
- GOP attitude toward equal pay has most turnout effect and GOP attacks on Obamacare and economic policies increase Democratic turnout.
- The national congressional race is tied and stable, with Democrats held back by modest vote among base RAE and unmarried women.
- Unmarried women are the main story because they are reporting modest turnout intentions and the vote among this group is now close to 2010 level. But they clearly can be moved and mobilized by “in your shoes” messaging.
- Two contextual factors: 1. Wrong track and modest job approval for the president, and 2. Increased hostility towards Republicans and Congress. Which will come to matter more will tell us how the race breaks.
- Powerful closing rationale: if Republicans win, the people with money win and more working men and women will be drowning.