The major poll finding is not that President Obama leads Mitt Romney 46-43, but that there is a historic, prolific "marriage gap" among single Americans who support Obama 54%-34%. Compare that with married voters who support Romney 51%-38%. Among women, the gap is even wider, nearly two to one with single women backing Obama 60%-31%. Yet married women back Romney 49%-42%, representing a huge 18-point swing! (And before you ask, the male gap is 14 points, as single men choose Obama 47%-38%, while married men back Romney 54%-35%.)
"Although much has been made about the gender gap and how President Barack Obama's lead among women fuels his campaign, the marriage gap is actually larger and more telling," said assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute Peter A. Brown in a statement. "Married people are more likely to be older, more financially secure and more socially conservative than unmarried voters. The married column includes more Republicans and more white voters. 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."
This "marriage gap" raises the question of whether we are in fact seeing a strong divergence in political preference based, in essence, on a person's level of responsibilities and maturity.