Presidential Candidates, Take Note: Market to Moms to Win Election ‘16

September 23, 2015 2:50 pm

If the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world, that same hand could also choose the next US president. With almost 40 million moms heading to the polls in a little more than one year, it’s time for presidential candidates to pay attention to the issues and expectations of this powerful voting bloc. In a recent survey by Maria Bailey, author of Millennial Moms: 202 Facts Marketers Need to Know to Drive Sales and Build Brands (Wyatt-McKenzie, 2015)  and BSM Media, more than 89% of moms – Millennials, Gen X and Boomers alike – plan to vote in the 2016 election but 60% of these same moms feel that the current presidential candidates are not focusing on the mom vote.

Four candidates are early favorites among moms: Hilary Clinton (26%), Donald Trump (23%), Ben Carson (21%) and Bernie Sanders (19%).  “The more important number for politicians to focus on is the 32% of moms who are undecided at this point,” says the survey author and marketing to moms expert Maria Bailey, adding, “that’s 12 million votes or more that can make or break a campaign.”


  • More moms think Donald Trump is offensive (37%), although 31% think “it’s refreshing to hear a candidate speak their mind, whether it’s politically correct or not.”
  • Millennial moms favor Bernie Sanders above all other candidates, while Gen X moms favor Hilary Clinton and more Boomer moms would cast their vote for Donald Trump.
  • Of the two female candidates, 27% of moms think Carly Fiorina is trustworthy and 31% favor Hilary Clinton with that characteristic. The Clinton email controversy does not affect 29% of moms who supporting Clinton despite the situation.
  • If moms had a write-in candidate, Jon Stewart’s name would be on the ballot, as well as Oprah, Elizabeth Warren and George Clooney.

Based on their own personal experiences and their roles as mothers, moms in the survey indicated that they would, as one mom says, “tend to look at the larger picture of what their stance is on all things.”  From reduction in college tuition for 68% of moms to equal pay for women for another 51%, mothers represent a challenging array of views along with a valuable opportunity for the candidates to win the White House.


  • Make millions of new friends online. Across generations, moms are more connected than ever and 68% say they consume political coverage at least a few times each week or daily. If a candidate engages with moms through social media, 23% (roughly nine million mom voters) say they would be more likely to vote for them.
  • Engage with moms where they are shopping and playing. If the power of social media was obvious in the 2012 election, then the 2016 election will be in overdrive. Almost 32% of moms say the discuss politics over social media at least weekly and often every day.
  • Address the important issues for moms as women. Just shy of half (49.5%) of moms surveyed feel the economy is the most influential issue that will affect their votes, followed closely by education at 44%. Healthcare and Immigration round out the top issues.
  • When women put on their mom hats, the top issues switch with education taking the top spot for 65% of moms and the economy following at 28%. Gun control (22%) and healthcare (20%) complete the top issues for moms.
  • Pay attention to the swing voters. An even 40% of moms say they will vote for the candidate within their registered party. However, candidates will do well to pay attention to the larger group of moms (42%), or about 16 million potential voters, who say they are only “somewhat likely” to “extremely unlikely” to vote party lines.

On the lighter side of politics, moms would like to instill these personal characteristics in their children: the confidence and ambition of Hilary Clinton and Carly Fiorina, the honesty of Bernie Sanders, Ben Carson’s intelligence and Donald Trump’s honesty. The best first spouse is a clear favorite with Bill Clinton at 39%. When homework help is needed, Ben Carson is the top choice for 30% of moms.

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