According to the latest Quinnipiac University poll, President Barack Obama leads presumed Republican nominee Mitt Romney among voters nationwide with the help of an almost 2-1 advantage among single women. The Quinnipiac survey shows the overall voter support for Obama with 46 percent and Romney with 43 percent. In the category of Single women however, they favor Obama over Romney, 60 percent to 31 percent.
Peter Brown, assistant director of the Hamden, Connecticut-based Quinnipiac University Polling Institute was widely quoted in the media as saying that the president is benefiting from a marriage gap that may be related to social issues. Brown also said unmarried people overall favor Obama 54 percent to 34 percent, while married people support Romney 51 percent to 38 percent. In an e-mail statement that accompanied the poll conducted in early July, Brown said that “Married voters are more likely to focus on the economy and health care, while single voters are more focused on issues such as gay rights and reproductive issues.” He also added that married people tend to be older, more financially secure and more conservative and also include a larger proportion of Republicans and white voters.
These differences in opinion and voter group backing may lay in the fact that Obama, as a Democrat has stepped up his support for gay marriage and says he favors abortion rights. Romney, a former Republican governor of Massachusetts, said he believes marriage should be between a man and a woman and has stated his opposition to abortion during several recent campaign stops. The Quinnipiac poll also revealed that
Romney leads 54 percent to 35 percent among married men, and he has a seven-point advantage among married women. For single men, Obama leads 47 percent to 38 percent. Men as a group overall, support Romney 47 percent to 40 percent; while all women combined support Obama by 51 percent to 39 percent for Romney. Further breakdowns of the polling data also suggest that Romney leads 51 percent to 38 percent among total white voters, and Obama leads by 59 percent to 30 percent among Hispanic voters. The advantage among Hispanic voters could prove to be a critical in the crucial battleground states of Florida, Colorado and Nevada. The poll also shows Obama with almost total support among black voters, pulling in 92 percent compared to Romney’s 2 percent.
The Quinnipiac poll shows that voters are nearly split evenly on which candidate would do a better job dealing with the economy, immigration and health care. Some 56 percent of voters said they believe Obama “cares about their needs,” but the also poll found that most voters disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy with 55 percent disapproving compared to the 40 percent who do approve. Obama’s handling of immigration policy and health care was also viewed mostly negative with 49 percent of the voters disapproving of the job Obama is doing overall. Although the Quinnipiac University poll data is very interesting, there are still many months before the election, and the numbers could easily make big swings in that time.