Republican candidates are deep in debates and President Obama is deep in campaign mode for the 2012 election, but one issue remains under the surface. The future of Barack Obama—and America—rests with the voting preferences of a frequently overlooked group: unmarried women, who make up about 25 percent of the country’s voting population.

The liberal research, polling and strategy firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (GQR) found after the 2008 election that, “If not for the overwhelming support of unmarried women, John McCain would have won the women’s vote and with it, the White House.” Unmarried women voted for Barack Obama over Sen. John McCain, 70 percent to 29 percent—and cast 23 percent of all votes in that election.