Poll shows a continuing 'marital status gap' in presidential voting
A story released today over PRNewswire reports that according to a new poll
conducted for iVillage.com: The Women's Network by Knowledge Networks (previously known as
InterSurvey), a Web-based polling firm, there continues to be a significant "marriage
gap" in the preferences of American voters.
Results for the poll are based on a nationwide sample of
1,078 adults (510 men and 568 women) 18 years of age or older, during the period September 20-29, 2000. The error
attributable to sampling is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.
The poll shows an major gap has emerged between married and
single Americans. Single women
favor Gore by a vast 67% to 20%, while married women give Gore a more modest 51% to 41%
lead. Among married men, Bush enjoys a substantial 54% to 34% lead, but among single men the race is nearly even, with
Gore ahead 43% to 40%.
The iVillage/Knowledge Networks Poll was designed by Anna Greenberg, an Assistant
Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University, and Mike Bocian, Director of Public Opinion and Political
Research at Knowledge Networks.
Arizona health care ballot
initiative would help single people and not just families
The Arizona Star published an editorial today recommending that
voters support Proposition 204 rather than Proposition 200. Both measures are
intended to reform health care services in Arizona.
The editorial says that both of the propositions would expand health care provided to
indigent families, but there are important differences between them.
Proposition 204 would provides health insurance for all indigent
people, while 200 extends insurance only to parents of children who are already covered by
the state's indigent health care system. Supporters of 204 say the measure will extend
health insurance to 130,000 people. Supporters of 200 say it will extend coverage to
The paper says that both propositions are important because, if passed, they will
determine the extent of health care for needy families for a long time. If passed, 200
remains in force for 25 years, while 204 more wisely allows the Legislature to review the
effects of the program after 10 years.
Proposition 204, known as Healthy Arizona 2, was originally passed in 1996 with 72 percent
voter approval, but the state Legislature never funded it. Then as now, the intent of the
measure was to make more people - the working poor - eligible for benefits under the
Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), the state's health insurance for the
Unlike Prop. 200 which is limited to helping parents of children in poor families,
Proposition 204 also includes health care for single parents and unmarried individuals who
meet the income eligibility standards.
The paper says that this is a difference which Proposition 204 a more worthwhile measure.
Single voters paying less
attention to presidential race than married voters
A story published today by the Associated Press reports that if you
are older, or married, or have a higher income, you are more likely to be paying close
attention to the presidential race than younger, or single, or less affluent voters.
``That's why prescription drugs loom so important in this
election,'' said political scientist David Aldrich, a voter specialist at Duke University,
referring to the importance of older voters. ``Their voting turnout rates stay very high,
and they are growing more in number.''
Older Americans are ``the people with the last vestiges of the religion of civic duty,''
said Curtis Gans, director of the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate.
``It's very important to me,'' agreed 75-year-old Elizabeth Hagy of Watauga, Tenn., a tiny
hamlet in the northeastern section of the state. ``If you don't vote you don't have a
voice. The younger generations don't take it as seriously.''
Voters these days are most likely to be college-educated, middle-to-upper income, older,
employed and owners of homes, election records show.
Overall, only 49 percent of voters turned out in the 1996 election, the lowest figure in a
presidential year since 1924. Analysts expect a similar turnout this year.
The most striking trend over the past four decades has been the faithfulness of older
voters, whose participation has gone up slightly, from 65.4 percent to 65.9
And the turnout rates for age groups from 35 and up were not much lower in the last
Young Americans are just not as interested, and their rates have been dropping sharply.
Just over a fourth of those from 18-24 voted four years ago.
Voting rates have declined for both men and women, but women have a slightly higher rate
now. Men once were higher.
Two thirds of men voted in 1964, but that had dwindled to 48.6 percent by 1996. By
comparison, about six of 10 women voted in 1964 and that had decreased to 51.3 percent.
Since there are more women than men in the country, that has increased their political
clout and has contributed to the campaign ``going Oprah'' this year.
Some other contrasts in voting patterns:
--High school dropouts have gone from six in 10 voting to about half. College graduates
have dropped from 81 percent to 66 percent. Those with more than a college degree are at
--People who make below $15,000 dropped from half in 1964 to a third in 1996. Americans
who make more than $48,000 dropped from 78.9 percent to 65.8 percent.
--Those who are employed have slipped from 66 percent to 51 percent. Those who are
unemployed have dropped from 52 percent to 33 percent.
--Homeowners vote at almost twice the rate of renters -- 57.7 percent to 31.9 percent.
Thomas Patterson, a political scientist at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, said
his polls measuring voter interest in the campaign suggest patterns from past elections
are likely to continue this year.
--Of those over 65, just over half were paying a lot of attention to the campaign compared
with 25 percent of adults under age 34.
--Of people making more than $50,000, half were paying close attention, compared with just
under a third of those making less than $25,000.
--Married people were paying more attention than single people by 41 percent to 30
Tuesday, October 10, 2000
Thomas F. Coleman, executive
director of AASP, was a guest on the Paul Sullivan Show last night. The show was
hosted by Joe Sciacca, who was standing in for Sullivan. Sciacca is the political
editor of the Boston Herald newspaper.
Coleman was on the show for a full
hour. Issues explored included: presidential candidates ignoring single and
unmarried voters, the social stigma often associated with being single or divorced, as
well as marital status discrimination against workers, consumers, and taxpayers.
Several people called in to express their views on
these issues. Most callers were supportive of AASP and its mission. One of
our members, Marshall Miller who lives in the Boston area, told listeners about how he and
his domestic partner, Dorian Solot, had been denied a joint renters insurance policy
because they are not married. Miller and Solot are founders of the Alternatives to
U.S. high court denies appeal on
A story published today by Reuters reports that U.S. Supreme Court let stand on Tuesday a
ruling that a lesbian who helped her partner raise twins for two years should have
visitation rights after the couple broke up.
In a case from New Jersey, the high court rejected without comment an appeal by the
biological mother of the twins, who argued that her constitutional rights had been
The case involved a woman, identified as M.J.B., who became pregnant by artificial
insemination and gave birth to the twins in 1994.
The biological mother and her lesbian partner, identified as V.C., raised the boy and girl
together for two years until their separation in 1996.
For a short time, M.J.B. allowed V.C. to visit the twins, but stopped the visits because
she believed the children suffered from stress from continued contact with V.C. M.J.B.
also felt V.C. was not properly caring for the children.
At about the same time, both women began relationships with new partners.
V.C. then sought joint custody and visitation, a request rejected by a lower court.
An appeals court gave her visitation rights, but not joint custody, a decision affirmed by
the New Jersey Supreme Court. It said visitation would be in the best interest of the
The case will be sent back to the trial judge to establish a visitation schedule.
Kaiser Family Foundation survey shows
young adults with mixed views on abortion, strong support for sex education and gay rights
A story released today over US Newswire reports that young adults have mixed opinions on
abortion, but strong positions on comprehensive sex education, HIV/AIDS policies, and gay
rights, according to a new national survey of 18-24 year-olds released today by the Henry
J. Kaiser Family Foundation and MTV's "Choose or Lose" campaign.
More than 600 18-24 year-olds were interviewed for the
survey, titled Sex Laws: Youth Opinion on Sexual Health Issues in the 2000 Election.
Seventy percent of young people say that whatever their own opinion on abortion, they
favor a woman having the choice to have an abortion with the advice of her doctor, and 60
percent favor federal funding so that poor women have the same access to abortions as
other women have. On the other hand, about half (47 percent) say they favor policies that
would make abortion illegal in all cases except rape, incest or to save the life of the
mother. More than two-thirds (68 percent) say they support policies requiring girls
under 18 to get a parent's consent for abortion (17 states currently require parental
consent and 15 require parental notification, although "bypass" provisions
allow the requirement to be waived, usually by a judge).
"This survey makes it clear that we can't stereotype young people's opinions on
public policy," said Vicky Rideout, a vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation.
"They have complex, nuanced views on many of these hot button issues."
"The outcome of the upcoming presidential election will undoubtedly have a dramatic
influence on such crucial issues to young people as abortion, gay and lesbian
rights, and sex education," commented Dave Sirulnick, executive vice president of
news & production at MTV. "We hope Choose or Lose 2000: Sex Laws will help young
voters to make informed decisions with regards to these issues on Election Day."
About three out of four (73 percent) young adults oppose policies restricting federal
funding to abstinence-only sex education courses in schools (25 percent favor such
restrictions), and six in ten say they would be more likely to support a candidate who
favors making federal funding available to comprehensive sex education courses that
include information on contraceptive options (5 percent say they would be less likely to
support such a candidate, and 32 percent say a candidate's position on sex ed wouldn't
make much difference one way or another). Eighty-four percent believe that high school
health centers should make condoms available to students who ask for them.
On issues concerning the rights of gays and lesbians, more than three out of four (77
percent) young adults say they favor increased penalties for people who commit hate
crimes against gays, and 72 percent support providing the same legal rights for gay
couples forming civil unions as those provided to heterosexual married couples. They
are more closely divided on the specific question of whether gay couples should have
adoption rights (56 percent support, 38 percent oppose) and on whether gays and
lesbians should be allowed to serve openly in the military (53 percent support, 41 percent
oppose). Half of 18-24 year-olds (51 percent) say a candidate's position on
expanding legal protections for gays wouldn't make much difference to their vote one way
or the other (28 percent would be more likely to support a candidate who favored
expanding such protections, while 20 percent said they would be less likely to support
such a candidate).
On HIV/AIDS, more than two-thirds say research to find an AIDS vaccine (78 percent) and to
find better AIDS treatments (66 percent) should be a top priority for the
government. Nearly three-quarters (71 percent) support proposals to require health
officials to notify past sexual or needle-sharing partners of people who test positive for