There's a large marriage gap in the race for the White House, according to a new national poll.
A Quinnipiac University survey released Wednesday morning indicates that President Barack Obama holds a 54 percent-34 percent lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney among non-married voters, while the presumptive GOP nominee leads the president 51 percent-38 percent among married voters.
"Although much has been made about the gender gap and how President Barack Obama's lead among women fuels his campaign, the marriage gap is actually larger and more telling," says Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
"The marriage gap may be related to the different priorities and economic situations of married and single people," adds Brown. "Married people are more likely to be older, more financially secure and more socially conservative than unmarried voters. The married column includes more Republicans and more white voters. Married voters are more likely to focus on the economy and health care, while single voters are more focused on issues such as gay rights and reproductive issues."
Quinnipiac is not alone in indicating a marriage gap. A look at the most recent demographics from the Gallup Daily Tracking poll also indicate Obama with a double digit advantage among non-married voters and Romney with a double digit advantage among those who are married.
The marriage gap is nothing new. Exit polls from the past two presidential elections indicate that Obama and Sen. John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic nominee, won the non-married vote, while Sen. John McCain, the 2008 GOP nominee, and President George W. Bush carried the married vote.
Among all registered voters, the poll indicates that Obama has a slight 46 percent-43 percent edge over Romney, which is just within the survey's sampling error.
Other findings from the poll: Independent voters are divided, with 43 percent backing Romney and 41 percent supporting Obama. And registered voters are split over whether Obama or Romney would do a better job on the economy.
The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted July 1-8, with 2,722 registered voters nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 1.9 percentage points.