Politicians target single mothers and single women in the 2014 election cycle

By KBJR News 1

July 8, 2014 Updated Jul 8, 2014 at 10:27 PM CDT

DULUTH, Minn. (NNCNOW.com) --- Politicians have targeted varying voting blocs to win elections for decades. They have included soccer moms, hunters, minorities, and elderly voters.

Now political campaigns are reaching out to a growing voting bloc that could enhance their campaign's electoral edge: single women and single mothers.

More than half of women over the age of 18 are single and fewer women are married when they give birth to their first child, according to a recent U.S. Census Bureau report.

These growing demographics are reshaping the electoral map, and political campaigns have taken notice.

"Women have historically turned out in higher rates than men," Alisa Von Hagel said.

Von Hagel is a political science professor at UWS.

Von Hagel said with the recent shift in voting blocs, political candidates are catering campaign themes to woo female voters.

"In 2008, we saw the Obama campaign really craft a campaign apparatus that was very successful in targeting and defining very narrow slices of the electorate and carving out specific messages for these populations," Von Hagel said.

Republicans are hitting the air waves with ads targeted towards women, including a recent ad by Stewart Mills.

The ad features the Republican's wife, Heather Mills, who says her husband participates in the Walk a Mile in her shoes event, a cause that raises money for domestic violence victims.

Republicans are not alone in their effort to attract female voters in the fall campaign.

With the control of the United States Senate up for grabs, National and state Democrats are banking on support from women in a midterm election year that often sees lower voter turnout.

"Women are a big part of the Democratic base to begin with for a lot of reasons," DFL Chairman Ken Martin said. "But we feel like we have a number of issues that can resonate with women voters this fall and as long as we get that message to them they will show up and vote for our candidates."

When it comes to appealing to female voters, the DFL Chairman says key issues are equal pay for equal work and the recent Supreme Court ruling on contraceptives.

"Employers have the right to deny basic contraceptive care is really unfortunate and it's a step in the wrong direction," Chairman Martin said. "As I remind folks, elections have consequences."

Those consequences may be in the hands of women voters come November.

Nick Minock
nminock@kbjr.com