Liberal fertility gap?

Posted by: ST on August 22, 2006 at 10:48 pm

I can only imagine the responses we’ll see in the comments section to this opinion piece, written by author and Syracuse University Professor Arthur Brooks:

The midterm election looms, and once again efforts begin afresh to increase voter participation. It has become standard wisdom in American politics that voter turnout is synonymous with good citizenship, justifying just about any scheme to get people to the polls. Arizona is even considering a voter lottery, in which all voters are automatically registered for a $1 million giveaway. Polling places and liquor stores in Arizona will now have something in common.

On the political left, raising the youth vote is one of the most common goals. This implicitly plays to the tired old axiom that a person under 30 who is not a liberal has no heart (whereas one who is still a liberal after 30 has no head). The trouble is, while most “get out the vote” campaigns targeting young people are proxies for the Democratic Party, these efforts haven’t apparently done much to win elections for the Democrats. The explanation we often hear from the left is that the new young Democrats are more than counterbalanced by voters scared up by the Republicans on “cultural issues” like abortion, gun rights and gay marriage.

But the data on young Americans tell a different story. Simply put, liberals have a big baby problem: They’re not having enough of them, they haven’t for a long time, and their pool of potential new voters is suffering as a result. According to the 2004 General Social Survey, if you picked 100 unrelated politically liberal adults at random, you would find that they had, between them, 147 children. If you picked 100 conservatives, you would find 208 kids. That’s a “fertility gap” of 41%. Given that about 80% of people with an identifiable party preference grow up to vote the same way as their parents, this gap translates into lots more little Republicans than little Democrats to vote in future elections. Over the past 30 years this gap has not been below 20%–explaining, to a large extent, the current ineffectiveness of liberal youth voter campaigns today.

Take it away, my clever commenters :))

Hat tip: Mark Noonan at Blogs for Bush

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  • 6 Responses to “Liberal fertility gap?”


    1. Clayton Pennylegion says:

      Sounds like Prof. Brooks has figured out the VRWC “Secret Plan”:
      ‘Let those men who want to marry men, marry men; let those women who want to marry women, marry women; let those who want to abort their babies, have abortions.

      ‘In just three generations, No More Liberals!=))

    2. Mwalimu Daudi says:

      Another illegal Bush-Rove-Halliburton conspiracy – forcing women not to have children by tricking them into having abortions and avoiding marriage and families. It is the sacred duty of American women to bear as many children as possible who will grow up to vote the straight Democratic ticket.

      Impeach Bush Now – And Get Pregnant ASAP!

    3. Drewsmom says:

      What a turn about from the 60’s hippie type love ins, don’t think they even used condoms back then, they may want to rethink this but dems are too selfish to have alot of crumbsnatchers like us Conservatives. :d

    4. Severian says:

      Oh the irony….not time for anything more, but irony and shadenfreude are my dominant feelings right now. :)

    5. Big Bang Hunter says:

      – To think I used to chide all the Lefties when wading through the usual “pro-life/pro-choice” arguments. I’d generally end with something like: “someday all you moonbats will be sorry you’re erasing all those Democratic votes”. To which I’d usually get some snarky equivalent of “Oh yeh, well your mama wears combat boots.”

      – Bang **==