Will the decline in marriage mean a decline in political power for mothers?

Published: Wednesday, July 18 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

Our take: The institution of marriage influences the lives of women throughout the country and can affect their involvement in politics. This article by Garance Franke-Ruta examines how the decline of marriage in America is negatively impacting women's turnout to vote in elections.

The class division in unmarried motherhood has implications beyond economic inequality, a divide in life experiences for a whole new generation of children, or an increase in the percent of women who never have kids because they don't marry. The new family structures also have potentially profound implications for our political system, and for the power of mothers within it, according to data crunched for a presentation by Lake Research Partners for The Voter Participation Center earlier this year.

The problem for women's political power is that unmarried mothers turn out at the lowest rate of any group of women, when you divide women by whether they are married and have children. That was true in 2008, when 56 percent of unmarried moms voted -- versus 69 percent of married moms and 72 percent of married women without kids.

Read more about Mothers in politics on The Atlantic.

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