As part of our ongoing efforts to understand the voting patterns of the Rising American Electorate, we’ve worked with Lake Research Partners to produce this report, which catalogues the changes in voting turnout for the Rising American Electorate between 2012 and 2016 – and makes projections for voter drop-off in 2018.
The projections are sobering and troubling to everyone who cares about increasing participation in our great democracy. Our prediction is that 40 million Americans who voted in 2016 won’t cast a ballot in the 2018 midterms — and to make matters worse, 2/3 of those drop-off voters will be members of the Rising American Electorate. The RAE dropoff is projected to be particularly pronounced in key 2018 battleground states, such as Arizona, Nevada, Florida, and Ohio:
Add in the effects of ongoing vote suppression efforts and the implication is clear: Democracy is facing a headwind in 2018. We need to double down on voter registration, mobilization and turnout efforts, and fighting for voting rights in order to make sure that every American has the opportunity to raise their voice at the ballot box.
The following excerpt is from Voter Participation Center’s extensive new report, Unmarried Women in America, 2017.
In the United States today, more than one out of every two women is unmarried – divorced, separated, widowed, or never been married. Single women are one of the fastest-growing demographic groups in America. Between 2004 and 2016, the percentage of unmarried women in the population grew by two percentage points, and the percentage of married women dropped by two points:
Unmarried women are living very different lives than married women in the United States; unmarried women make less money, are more likely to live in poverty, to be unemployed, and to have no health insurance, savings, or retirement income. This “Marriage Gap” is not just economic, but political. Marital status has been proven to determine voting participation and preferences.
But instead of recognizing this fundamental change in the lives of the majority of American women and adopting policies that address the economic and diverse realities of single women’s lives, the Trump administration and their Republican allies in Congress are now poised to enact health care, budget, and tax plans that will hurt all women, but unmarried women disproportionately.
To have their voices heard, affect policy changes, and exact a political price, they must vote at levels that reflect their strength in the population. In 2016, even though single women had the numerical edge in terms of eligible voters, they were not registered and did not vote at the levels of married women, who are less progressive in their views.
Right now, close to one third of eligible unmarried women aren’t registered to vote, and more than one in ten of the single women who were registered in 2016 didn’t vote.
Clearly, single women have more power to shape the policy and political debate than they are using. Read the full report: Unmarried Women in America, 2017.
Unmarried Women: Registration and Voting (2016)
Unmarried Women Voting - 2016 Election
Paid Leave for the United States (PL+US) has a new report that looks at the different paid parental leave offered to corporate vs frontline employees at some of the country’s largest companies – and the impact that inequity has on low-income families.
In the United States today, paid family leave is an elite benefit: 94% of low-income working people have no access to paid family leave. Millions of Americans don’t get even a single day of paid time for caregiving. 1 in 4 new moms in the U.S. is back at work just ten days after childbirth. While public discourse often focuses on income inequality, there is another critical way families experience inequality: the inability to be with their babies and families for the most important moments of their lives.
Read the PL+US report’s findings and their index of the top retailers leading the way — and the major corporate employers that are lagging behind.
54 years after the Equal Pay Act was signed into law, women are still fighting to earn the same earnings as men for equal work. According to the most recent data on 2016 available from the U.S. Census Bureau, women on average make 80 cents for every dollar a man makes.
Earning disparities are even greater for unmarried women, who have seen a steady three-year decline on their earnings in comparison to married men. Unmarried women now earn only 59 cents to every dollar a married man earns, part of an ever-consistent pattern of unmarried women being left behind, even in a growing and improving economy.
In short, there have been no real substantive gains for women. In fact, equal wages is seeing a backwards trend while married men continue to see their earning power grow. Read about the particular difficulties facing unmarried women of color and single mothers and the real, day-to-day consequences of the pay gap.
April 4, 2017 is Equal Pay Day 2017 — the date that symbolizes how far into 2017 the average woman has to work in order to make the same amount as the average man. According to 2016 US Census data, the wage gap for 2016 was the same as in 2015: for every $1 the average man is paid, the average woman is paid only $0.80.
Unmarried women are hit particularly hard by the wage gap. For every $1 the average man earns, the average unmarried woman is paid only $0.71… and for every $1 the average married man is paid, the average unmarried woman is paid only $0.59. That means that the average unmarried woman has to work until May 31, 2017 just to make the same as the average man did in 2016, and until September 12, 2017 to make the same as the average married man did in 2016.
And it’s even worse for unmarried women of color: For every $1 the average married man is paid, the average unmarried African-American woman is paid only $0.57, the average unmarried Native American woman only $0.50, and the average unmarried Hispanic woman only $0.48. That means that in order to make as much as the average married man made in 2016, the average unmarried Hispanic woman will have to work until January 26, 2018.
Here’s a state-by-state breakdown of the wage gap for unmarried women. What is the wage gap for your state?
The Wage Gap for Unmarried Women (2016)
Pay Gap by State (2017)
For more details, read the full report from Lake Research Partners and the Voter Participation Center about Equal Pay Day for unmarried women.
Share this post widely on social media to raise awareness of the wage gap and the importance of #EqualPay.
The proposed Trump budget released on March 16 increases spending on defense and homeland security by making big cuts to domestic spending that will disproportionately affect women and the poor — including slashing the budgets for the WIC nutrition assistance program, job training programs for disadvantaged youth and seniors, important medical research at the National Institutes of Health, afterschool programs and aid to low-income and minority college students, and neighborhood investments for low-income communities.
Overall, the trend in Trump’s budget is clear, just like it is in the health care proposal being put forth by Trump and the Republicans: Tax cuts for the wealthy and increases in military spending, “paid for” by cuts to government programs that historically help working- and middle-class Americans — especially unmarried women, people of color, and young people.
March 20 Update: We’ve added a more thorough analysis of the FY2018 cuts to the Department of Education and the Department of Labor, and how these cuts would hurt unmarried women, people of color, and young people in particular.
The numbers are in: “The Women’s March of 2017 was the largest protest in recent history, bringing together over 500,000 people in DC- the location of the flagship march, and over 2.9 million people nationwide.”
Their findings “suggest that the Women’s March has potentially lit the political fires of a new generation of activists and reactivated the political activism of others. Indeed, a third of the participants reported that the Women’s March was their first time participating in a protest ever. For over half of the participants (55.9%), the March was their first protest in 5 years (including those who had never participated before).”
The U.S. Census Bureau’s latest report gives undeniable evidence of “a persisting large gender gap in incomes in the United States. The fact that nearly one fifth of all family households are headed by a single woman and that these households have incomes far below the national average, is cause for major concern.”
WIAReport continues, “for single women living alone, the median income in 2015 was $29,022. For single men living alone, the median income was $40,762. Thus, single women had a median income of 71.2 percent of the median income of single men.”
Indeed, the data shows that the median income for households headed by single women in 2015 was $37,797, and that these counted for 19% of all households in America.
Paid family leave, paid sick leave, and affordable childcare: these aren’t political talking points, they’re the sort of public policies that will allow working families – including Unmarried Women and the Rising American Electorate – to succeed in today’s economy. A new poll commissioned by the Work Family Strategy Council shows that these policies enjoy overwhelming support with American voters: “By a nearly 2-1 margin, 61 percent of voters in these states, which include Iowa, support the creation of a national paid family and medical leave fund, 69 percent support a paid sick days law, and 57 percent support increasing access to high-quality, affordable child care, according to the survey. Among Iowans polled, 63 percent said they support a national paid family and medical leave fund, while 25 percent said they oppose it.”
Other critical takeaways from the poll include:
- “Overall, a majority of voters in the 15 states believe a national paid family and medical leave fund would make the country better off, while only 26 percent think it would make the country worse off.”
- “Voters across states say they favor a law that would create a national paid family and medical leave fund: 61 percent say they favor such a law, 44 percent say they strongly favor one, while 34 percent are opposed.”
- “A strong majority of people surveyed say they face challenges when managing job, family and personal responsibilities: 63 percent of full-time workers and 67 percent of part-time workers say they would be likely to face significant economic hardship if they had to take time from their jobs without pay to care for a new child, care for a seriously ill loved one or deal with their own serious health issue.”
Read the full article at Business Record.com
There are more than 58 million single women eligible to vote this November. For the first time ever, there are more single women than married women eligible to vote, and their numbers continue to grow nationally and in key states. And as the new poll of nine battleground states conducted for Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund shows, single women could determine the outcome of the presidential election and U.S. Senate races down-ballot.