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As the number of marriages tapers off, does the political power of mothers decline too?

What are the political implications for single mothers if less and less are staying married?
What are the political implications for single mothers if less and less are staying married?
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The number of single mothers in the United States is rapidly increasing, as marriage rates decline and births out of wedlock rise.

As November’s presidential election approaches, this phenomenon creates an interesting question– how much political power will the growing single mother population have? Traditionally, the turnout among unmarried mothers has been the lowest of any group of women; many live below the poverty line and have more problems paying rent and putting food on the table than their married counterparts.

As a result, some social commentators are concerned that the growth in single mothers will have a detrimental impact on the power of women in politics as a whole, while others argue unmarried moms could be a strong source of support in President Obama’s 2012 campaign.

Does a decline in marriage significantly change the political landscape? As a single mother, do you feel more compelled to vote to secure a better future for your children? And if you don’t engage in politics, why not?


Garance Franke-Ruta, senior editor of the Politics Channel, The Atlantic; she wrote the piece “Will the Decline in Marriage Mean a Decline in Political Power for Mothers?” for The Atlantic

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon , New York Times Best-Selling Author, Dressmaker of Khair Khana; Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations' Women and Foreign Policy Program, regular contributor to Newsweek, The Daily Beast, The Atlantic, and Politico, which ran her article “Single moms Obama’s X-factor?”