Comscore Study Examines Critical Factors Influencing Women’s Presidential Voting Plans

New Survey Sheds Light on Attributes and Issues Affecting this Election’s Most Closely Followed Constituency

RESTON, Va., Oct. 9, 2004 – Comscore Networks today released the results of a study examining the factors influencing the voting plans of American women in the upcoming presidential election. The study integrates a full range of demographic, attitudinal and lifestyle information to focus on the factors influencing the attitudes, intentions and decisions of closely followed segments, such single women and “security moms.” The study was conducted online by surveying registered women voters who have Internet access, during the period between September 24 and September 29, 2004, by ComscoreQ2, the custom research division of Comscore Networks.

“The expected impact of younger women and particularly that of the “security mom” segment on the outcome of the election has been the focus of a great deal of attention. This study indicates far more complex underlying dynamics across female voter groups,” said Linda Abraham, executive vice president of Comscore Networks. “In a race as tight as this one, the candidate that understands and addresses these dynamics might well come out ahead.”

What’s driving the Differences -- Motherhood or Marriage?
The central assumption behind the concept of the “security mom” segment is that women with children are more likely to be concerned about terrorism and therefore favor President Bush because of his aggressive stance on the issue. Comscore’s study found that while mothers are indeed likely to vote for President Bush, a woman’s marital status alone is at least as much of an indicator of voting intention. Specifically, 51 percent of married women without children say they will vote for George Bush, while 56 percent of married women with children say they will vote for the President – a difference of only 5 percentage points. In sharp contrast, only 33 percent of unmarried women responded that they would vote for Bush.

Table 1

Voting Plans by Marital Status and Motherhood
Respondent Pool: Registered female voters
September 24-29, 2004
Source: ComscoreQ²
n=1592, margin of error +/- 2.5%
  Married w/ Kids Married w/o Kids Never Married
Bush and Cheney 56% 51% 33%
Kerry and Edwards 32% 35% 53%
Nader and Camejo 1% 1% 0%
None of these 2% 2% 2%
Don’t know/not sure 9% 10% 11%

Comscore found that the differences between married and unmarried women persist across age and income groups. For example, Bush is favored by married women, whether aged 18 to 34 or 35 to 54 and regardless of whether they are a member of the low or high income group. Conversely, women who have never been married are more likely to choose Kerry regardless of their age or income.

Table 2

Voting Plans by Marital Status, Age and Income
Respondent Pool: Registered female voters
September 24-29, 2004
Source: ComscoreQ²
n=1592, margin of error +/- 2.5%
  Married Never Married Married Never Married

 

Age

18-34

Age

 35-54

Age

 18-34

Age

 35-54

Less than

 $50k

$50k

 or more

Less than $50k

$50k

 or more

Bush and Cheney 52% 58% 30% 39% 53% 57% 32% 29%
Kerry and Edwards 37% 30% 56% 46% 32% 36% 55% 59%
Nader and Camejo 1% 1% 0% 0% 2% 0% 0% 1%
None of these 2% 2% 3% 1% 2% 1% 1% 4%
Don’t know/not sure 8% 10% 11% 13% 10% 6% 12% 7%

Terrorism vs. the Economy
While Comscore found that married mothers do put a greater emphasis on terrorism, the economy is an extremely important issue with all segments of women voters. This is especially true of married women without children, who are significantly more likely to respond that the economy is more important than terrorism.

Table 3

Primary Concern by Marital Status and Motherhood
Respondent Pool: Registered female voters
September 24-29, 2004
Source: ComscoreQ²
n=1592, margin of error +/- 2.5%
  Married w/ Kids Married w/o Kids Never Married
Terrorism and social issues 32% 21% 28%
The economy and health care 30% 35% 31%
Both equally important 37% 43% 39%
Don't know/not sure 1% 1% 1%

As expected, women who are more concerned with terrorism are far more likely to vote for Bush, while Kerry is particularly strong with those that are more focused on economic issues. Nearly three-quarters of female decided voters who are more concerned with terrorism say they will vote for Bush, while more than 60 percent of those who are more concerned with economic issues say they will support Kerry.

Table 4

Voting Plans Among Women Concerned with Terrorism vs. the Economy
Respondent Pool: Female decided registered voters
September 24-29, 2004
n=1031, margin of error +/- 3.0%
Source: ComscoreQ²
  Terrorism & Social Issues Economy & Health Care
Plan to vote for Bush 74% 37%
Plan to vote for Kerry 25% 62%
Plan to vote for Nader 0% 1%

Lifestyles & Interests
In an effort to better understand how female voters’ lifestyles and interests differ between Bush and Kerry supporters, Comscore examined the lifestyle of each group as indicated by their online behavior patterns. The analysis revealed that Bush supporters are 76 percent more likely than the general online population to visit sites in the Community-Family category, 75 percent more likely to visit the Sports category, 50 percent more likely to visit the Community-Teens category and 15 percent more likely to visit the Politics category.

Women who support Kerry are 45 percent more likely to visit Financial Information and Advice sites, 65 percent more likely to visit Entertainment-Movies sites and 89 percent more likely to visit sites in the Health-Information category. Kerry supporters are also significantly more likely to visit e-commerce categories, such as Retail-Books and Travel.

Table 5

Online Content Preferences Among Female Registered Voters
September 24-29, 2004
n=1592, margin of error = +/- 2.5%
Source: ComscoreQ²
  % More or Less Likely to Visit Site Category
Category Bush Supporters Kerry Supporters
Business/Finance-Financial Information/Advice -19% +45%
Community-Family +76% +18%
Community-Teens +50% -78%
Entertainment-Kids +39% -63%
Entertainment-Movies -7% +65%
Entertainment-News -42% +54%
Health-Information -22% +89%
News/Information-General News -16% +20%
News/Information-Politics +15% +5%
Retail-Books -1% +112%
Sports +75% -8%
Travel +14% +95%

Comscore also found pronounced lifestyle skews among undecided female voters. For example, these women are significantly more likely than average to visit Community and Health related sites. Conversely, the Sports and Travel categories are more popular among decided female voters than the average Internet user.

Table 6

Online Content Preferences Among Female Registered Voters
September 24-29, 2004
n=561
Source: ComscoreQ²
  % More or Less Likely to Visit Site Category
Category Decided Voters Undecided Voters
Community-Family +31% +70%
Community-Teens -7% +44%
Community-Women +28% +93%
Education -27% +11%
Health-Information -33% +135%
News/Information-Politics +23% -
Sports +42% +4%
Travel +58% +2%

“For campaigns that need to target undecided voters, online advertising offers a compelling opportunity to precisely reach voters of specific mindsets,” noted Ms. Abraham. “These preferences can also be applied to reach consumers through television and other media that offer similar distinct programming choices.”

About Comscore Networks
Comscore Networks provides unparalleled insight into consumer behavior and attitudes. This capability is based on a massive, global cross-section of more than 2 million consumers who have given Comscore explicit permission to confidentially capture their browsing and transaction behavior, including online and offline purchasing. Comscore panelists also participate in survey research that captures and integrates their attitudes and intentions. Through its patent-pending technology, Comscore measures what matters across a broad spectrum of behavior and attitudes. Comscore consultants apply this deep knowledge of customers and competitors to help clients design powerful marketing strategies and tactics that deliver superior ROI. Comscore services are used by global leaders such as AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Verizon, Best Buy, The Newspaper Association of America, Tribune Interactive, ESPN, Nestlé, Bank of America, Universal McCann, the United States Postal Service, GlaxoSmithKline and Orbitz. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com.

Contact:
Andrew Lipsman
Comscore, Inc.
+1 312 775 6510
press@comscore.com



 

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