Raging Right Wing Republican

For those of us who are politically informed, and therefore Republican.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Families are red, singles are blue

After the 2000 election, the terms "Red state" and "Blue state" became a popular shorthand for describing the political and cultural divide that separated Democrats and Republicans. The flawed but useful metaphor implies that idealogical leanings and political affiliations are clustered around geographic areas. But a recent analysis by Census data by USA Today reveals a pair of factors that are even more determinative of political affiliation than race, income, education or geography: family and fertility.

In fact, when it comes to Congressional representation, marriage and parenthood are the key indicators of whether a district is Democratic and Republican. Republican House members, for instance, overwhelmingly come from districts that have high percentages of married people and lots of children. Democrats' districts, however, are stocked with people who have never married and have few children.

The demographic data shows a remarkable divide:
  • Republicans control 49 of the 50 districts with the highest rates of married people.

  • Democrats represent all 50 districts that have the highest rates of adults who have never married.

  • Democrats represent 30 districts in which fewer than half of children live with married parents. Republicans represent none.

  • Republican Congress members represent 39.2 million children, about 7 million more than Democrats. In fact, Republicans represent an average of 7,000 more children per district.

  • Children in Democratic districts are far more likely to live in poverty and with single parents than kids in GOP districts.
  • The "marriage and fertility" gap may be the most useful predictor of the mid-term elections. Four of the five Republicans who have the lowest rates of married people in their districts (Steve Chabot (OH) 48.3%; Heather Wilson (NM) 51.1%; Deborah Pryce (OH) 51.2%; J.D. Hayworth (AZ) 51.6%) are in tight races with a Democratic challenger. Rep. Melissa Bean (IL), on the other hand, a Democrat whose district has a high marriage rate, faces a strong challenge from a Republican. Altogether, 27 of the 38 Republican districts considered vulnerable in the mid-term elections have fewer married people than found in the average GOP district.

    If you want to understand the political divide in the U.S., take a hard look at this "marriage and fertility gap" and ponder why the GOP is preferred by voters with traditional family structures. It's about time we set aside the simplistic Red State/Blue State. For when it comes to politics, what really matters is the state of the family.


    Anonymous Gunlord said...

    Steve Sailer fan? :D

    Mon Oct 09, 05:33:00 AM EDT  

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