The Virginia election returns confirm what political insiders have known for many decades — that the real gap in our politics is not between men and women, but between married men and married women on the one hand and single men and single women on the other. It doesn’t matter if you are divorced, separated, widowed or never married. If you are single you are much more likely to vote Democratic.
This insight raises the question of motivation.
It goes without saying that single people are, or should be, more socially active than are their married counterparts. So, social issues like abortion and birth control are likely to be more important to them,
But there are two other possible motivations for this marriage gap which bear examination: economic and cultural.
Economically, can there be any doubt that married people are richer than single people are? The American people responded to the relatively stagnant wages of the 70s, 80s, and 90s by the increasing participation of married women in the workforce. The resulting second paycheck masked the impact of stagnant wages and increase buying power significantly.
A one-paycheck household is far more likely to be an impoverished one. They are more likely to depend on the government for food stamps, subsidized housing, welfare, disability benefits, transportation subsidies, WIC benefits, Medicaid, and the Earned Income Tax Credit. They are more likely to need Uncle Sam to survive and more prone to support Democrats as a result.
The worse the economy performs, the more dependent they become on government support and on the political largesse of the Democratic Party. The fewer pay envelopes out there, the more the entitlement check mailings make the big difference.
But it is also the cultural gap that we need to explore. The only form of marriage the Democrats celebrate is gay marriage. They do nothing, in government or outside, to encourage marriage.
Governmentally, they penalize marriage. Nothing better illustrates this than ObamaCare itself. Individuals are eligible for health care subsidies if they earn up to $46,000. Two single people living together are eligible for a combined subsidy on their joint policy as long as their combined income is under $92,000 ($46,000 x 2). But if they marry, they will lose their subsidy if their combined income is over $62,000.
But it is more the Democrats’ allies in Hollywood and the media who foster a lifestyle that does not include marriage. They rarely depict marriage, except to mock it (the Runaway Bride or Father of the Bride). Love flourishes in Hollywood but not much marriage.
When Hollywood — and the TV people — wants to sell something, they certainly can. Look at how the constant pounding of shows featuring gay couples has melted public aversion to gay marriage in record time. The fact is the Hollywood has declared war on straight marriage for decades.
The result of generous subsidies on the one hand and cultural pressure on the other has been a declining rate of marriage among Americans.
Marriage rates have dropped from 90 per 1,000 unmarried women in 1950 to 60 in 1960 to 31 today, an all time low.
The more single people, the more Democrats, unless the GOP changes the math.