The National Education Association has issued a press release to announce its participation in the Obama "truth team," which will promote the President's achievements, respond to attacks on his record and hold the eventual Republican nominee accountable in the November election.
And in analyzing the organization's statement about its involvement in analyzing demographic groups for political campaigns, Mike Antonucci at EIA Online noticed a phrase that stood out from the rest.
The statement read:
"With members in every congressional district, NEA is gearing up to reach out and educate millions of eligible voters during the 2012 election year, focusing on association members and their families. NEA also is partnering with other nonprofit organizations to encourage strong voter turnout—especially among minorities and unmarried women."
The reference to "unmarried women", rather than, say, single mothers was jarring. But Antonucci found that, after researching that particular demographic that "there are few voter gaps these days as wide as that between married women and unmarried women".
"Unmarried women played a critical role in the Democratic surge in the last two electoral cycles, delivering as much as a third of the total Democratic vote in each.
"As participation among unmarried women has increased dramatically and the participation marriage gap has been shrinking, the marriage gap in the candidate choices—the difference in vote preferences between married women and unmarried women—has increased, and as unmarried women have increased the margins, they have generally provided support to more progressive candidates."
It's an important demographic for the Democrats, who recorded a shrinking 57% support from these women 2010. Many Democrat analysts now worry that their support could shrink even more in 2012.
Antonucci uses this data to highlight the NEA's role in "shoring up traditional Democratic constituencies – labor, minorities and unmarried women".
"There isn't much call for NEA to sway swing voters, independents, retirees, or other demographic sub-groups.
"Plus lumping "unmarried" women together in a single group is curious in itself. Why wouldn't there be significant internal gaps in this group among single women, co-habiting women and divorced women?"