Targeting Julia

05.14.2012, 2:42 PM

Good piece by Jessica Gavora in WaPo:

…Although polls show that married women favor Romney over Obama, unmarried women are the most reliably Democratic voting group outside African Americans. They constituted a whopping 71-to-29 percent majority for Obama in 2008, earning them a place in what Democrats call their “rising American electorate”  — the people of color, the young and the unmarried women who helped deliver the presidency for Obama in 2008, and who Democrats desperately want back in 2012.

The problem is, the rising American electorate is a reliable Democratic vote only when it bothers to register and show up. And even though they show a current 44-point preference for Obama, unmarried women — especially those with children — register and vote at lower rates than married women.

The turnout of unmarried women is so unreliable that, until the 2000 presidential election, Democrats generally wrote off the single female vote as not worth the effort. But in that razor-thin contest, strategists noticed for the first time that 22 million members of their most reliable cohort of voters did not go to the polls. If single women had cast ballots in the same proportions as married women, Al Gore probably would have received the punched chads of an additional 6 million voters, more than enough to have won him the White House…

2 Responses to “Targeting Julia”

  1. Mont D. Law says:

    The truth is there is nothing to suggest Julia is not happily married, or as happily married as a cartoon character can be. None of the programs mentioned in the article or the presentation are only open to single women. The health care changes in the ACA don’t just effect single women.

    Jonah Goldberg’s wife is a political functionary making and argument based on information not in evidence. The cartoon shows programs that will help women, married or single, including the fair Jessica, if she should ever need help. To claim it is an example of Obama wanting women to marry the government is political posturing. Would the Democratic party like to increase the number of women that vote for them? Why yes they would. Would the Republicans like to increase the number of Hispanic people or young people or black people that vote for them? Why yes they would. Shocking I know.

  2. La Lubu says:

    When I first read the “Julia” story, I thought it was great—a savvy targeting of women. I did not assume Julia was single. After reading this, I went back and read the “Julia” story again; like Mont D. Law, could find nothing to indicate that she is intended to represent a single woman. I think marriage (like divorce and widowhood) were specifically left out of the examples so the greatest number of women would be represented (“Julia” as a mother could be either single or married).

    What I did find curious in the WaPo article was this quote: “Julia is Mary Tyler Moore on the government’s dime.”

    Why did she come to this conclusion? Along “Julia’s” life story, we see that she took college prep courses in high school, did well enough to be admitted into a four-year university, becomes employed in her chosen field after graduation, makes her student loan payments on time and in full every month as the cost is manageable (not usurious), starts her own business with a loan from the SBA, and retires after a long career. Clearly, Julia paid her own way and worked her way up—yet her work is ignored. She’s a deadbeat because she took out student loans and an SBA8(a) loan instead of….being born into money, I guess? Maybe she’s a deadbeat because of those Head Start classes when she was three? Or attending public schools (and sending her own child to public schools) instead of private?

    Most of Julia’s story would be just as relevant to Joe—except for the reproductive and fair pay sections. All of it is equally relevant to married or single women. It’s not marital status that is being targeted with “Julia”. It’s working class and lower middle class women that are being targeted. I’m one of those schmucks that goes out to vote even when I have to hold my nose and vote for the lesser of two evils. I’m really glad to see that I’m being seen as a valuable voting block, and the my concerns are getting some face time. I’ve long been tired of politicians that only care about the “swing votes” of wealthy suburbanites. Part of what feeds the apathy of the US voting populace is how frequently major blocks of us are ignored. So. Brava, Julia!