Single women overwhelmingly vote for Democrats, and Fox News just demonstrated why. The O'Reilly Factor's Jesse Waters coined the term "Beyoncé Voters," essentially the sexist, modern-day version of the welfare queens of yore. By Waters' definition, politicians like Hillary Clinton pander to single women's desire for government handouts because they need their votes. But Clinton doesn't have to worry about getting the single lady vote in 2016. Instead, endangered Congressional Democrats have to worry about turning out that vote now.
On Tuesday, Waters and the Outnumbered panel discussed Hillary Clinton's disparaging response to the Hobby Lobby ruling, which Waters saw as a ploy to woo women who want equal pay and health care because they don't have anyone to make sandwiches for. As Waters put it:
Hillary Clinton needs the single ladies vote. I call them ‘The Beyoncé Voters’ — the single ladies. Obama won single ladies by 76% last time, and made up about a quarter of the electorate. They depend on government because they’re not depending on their husbands. They need contraception, health care, and they love to talk about equal pay.
But one of several things Waters misses is that single women are attracted to policies. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe won the single women vote in 2013 by 42 percent (he won by 2 percent overall) — not by telling women to depend on the government, but by highlighting his opponent's terrible record of supporting reproductive rights.
One in four people of voting age are unmarried women, but they don't vote consistently — single women's turnout is expected to be a third lower this fall than in 2012. But if they do turn out, it would be a boost for endangered congressional Democrats facing a whiter, wealthier and more conservative electorate this fall. That's especially true in North Carolina, where Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan is challenging conservative state Rep. Thom Tillis. North Carolina has a higher percentage of unmarried women than most states and Hagan is emphasizing Tillis' work to restrict access to legal abortions and block the expansion of Medicaid. If Hagan does win, it probably won't be because of more right-leaning women who, like Beyoncé funnily enough, are married.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.