On CNN just now: “There seems to be a new force in politics: unmarried women.”

“New force?” Aren’t these the election-swinging “Sex and the City voters” the press told us all about in 2004? (Minus, I guess, the ones who have since married)?

Maybe what’s new this time is that “those under 30 are mobilizing?” Meet 28-year-old Maria, the CNN report continued, describing young Maria as “a fleck of gold in the goldmine known as ‘unmarried voters’” who “until now…had been largely ignored by candidates” (if not by the press).

“What’s important to them?” (These homogeneous “flecks of gold”?) “Real-life economic needs like child care, health care, raising the minimum wage and equal pay.” (Of course, CNN confessed, “married women care about similar issues…”)

But! But “if [single women] mobilize they could determine who becomes the next president.” You know, swing the election!

This is not “new” or unique to 2008. And neither is the maddeningly simplistic way voters are so often treated by the press.


Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.