Seismic Shift in US Politics: Single Women

New Yorker piece looks at this ever-growing population
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2016 10:28 AM CST
Seismic Shift in US Politics: Single Women

Candidates of the present and future might take note of a New Yorker story anointing single women "the most powerful voter this year." And writer Rebecca Traister makes the case that because the number of women opting to skip a walk down the aisle is only growing, the effect will not be a fleeting one. "Whether you regard this shift as dangerous or thrilling, it is having a profound effect on our politics," she writes. "While they are not often credited for it, single women’s changed circumstances are what’s driving a political agenda that seems to become more progressive every day." Issues such as pay equity, family leave, minimum wage, and affordable health care are resonating, which might serve as a warning to Republicans. Because of these issues, single women lean left and they're expected to make up the majority of female voters for the first time in 2016.

Of course, precisely how much of an effect they'll have will depend on turnout, something that might be muted given "the very obstacles that single women need social policy to account for," writes Traister. "Many are low-earning single parents with erratic schedules, low wages, few child-care options, and no time to wait in lines at polling places where conservative lawmakers have made voting difficult and time consuming." Unmarried women are largely living in a world not set up to meet their needs on everything from taxes to social policies. And while change may not happen quickly, this is clearly "the beginning of a new kind of relationship between American women and their government," writes Traister. Click for her full piece. (More single women stories.)

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