In a skintight presidential race, pillow talk and kitchen-table discussions could make a difference to each party’s bid to close its gender gap in battlegrounds like Colorado, Ohio and Virginia. …
Those who have studied political dynamics within households say that roughly three-fourths of married couples vote the same way. Because people seek spouses with similar values, they typically have similar political views to begin with. But couples who disagree, said Paul Allen Beck, a political scientist at Ohio State University, usually make at least a cursory attempt to resolve their differences. It is a factor both parties take into account in their data-driven process of identifying and mobilizing potential supporters.
Obama campaign organizers consider the political orientation of a spouse among the characteristics most predictive of where an undecided voter will end up. Michael Meyers of TargetPoint Consulting, a firm that helps Mr. Romney with voter turnout, said the political views of a Republican’s spouse help determine whether and how a household gets courted, both for purposes of locking down its support and for ensuring that its members actually vote.
The firm’s database might show that the spouse of a gun-rights supporter holds a different view on that issue, for example. If so, Mr. Meyers said, the household might receive anti-tax rather than “Second Amendment” literature in support of the Republican ticket.