chapter  3
The Marriage Gap
ByAmy R. Gershkoff
Pages 16

According to the 2004 exit polls, married people preferred George W. Bush bya 15-point margin, while unmarried people chose John Kerry by 18 points. This “marriage gap” in 2004 was striking but not unusual. Over the last several elections, married Americans have formed a key part of the Republican base, while unmarried Americans-those who are single, separated, divorced, or widowed-have comprised a cornerstone of the Democratic Party’s base. The resulting gap in the voting behavior of married and unmarried Americans increasingly has become a consequential feature of American politics.1