The GOP`s Third Electoral Secret: Marriage, Fertility…And Cheap Housing
Right after my VDARE.COM article
Recoil From GOP`s Electoral Secret: Marriage Plus
came out last Sunday, VDARE.COM contributor
Randall Burns pointed out to me an amazing online
resource for anyone interested in differences between
and Blue (Democratic)
At Randall`s suggestion, the editors of the website
added the demographic measures—marriage and
fertility—that I had showed correlated closely with
Bush`s 2004 performance. This allowed me to see how they
stacked up against all the other measures the website
was enthralled to hear about this new toy, but a little
worried. With that many different variables, surely
there would be several that correlated with GOP
performance better than the factor I had trumpeted in my
As you may recall, I had announced that the average
years married between ages 18 through 44 among white
women correlated remarkably with Bush`s share of the
When combined in a multiple regression model with the
numbers of babies per white woman, the fit with the
election results was astonishing.
Well, much to my relief, my Years Married measure came
first out of all 377 as the variable that best
correlates with Bush`s performance by state, and by a
The Laboratory of the States website came up with an
incredible correlation coefficient of r = 0.95, even
higher than the r = 0.91 correlation I reported on
(The difference is that they took the logarithm of the
Years Married, a standard statistical technique.)
scatterplot. (You`ll find Washington D.C. way down
in the lower left corner, but right on the best fit line
through the 50 states.)
know this will make me sound like a total
stat geek. (I
guess I am, so I won`t try to hide it.) But to find
a correlation coefficient of 0.95 between
measures as distinctive as Bush`s Share and Years
Married is absurdly exciting. Professional social
scientists can go their whole careers without coming
close to uncovering a correlation of 0.95 between
The other demographic factor that I have emphasized, as
in my earlier
American Conservative article "Baby
Gap"—the average number of babies per white
woman — came in third out of 377. By taking the log of
it, they found it correlated at an r = 0.89. (Here`s
Now I should point out that one reason these correlation
coefficients are so bogglingly high is that they include
Washington D.C. along with the 50 states.
Because D.C. is such an anomaly compared to the states,
it is weighted very heavily in calculating the
correlation coefficients. This leads to some strange
For example, the percentage of immigrants from
sub-Saharan Africa delivers the tenth strongest
correlation with Bush`s share at r = -0.78. (More
African immigrants, the worse Bush did.) That is mostly
a product of heavily-weighted D.C. having the nation`s
immigrant community. But, even there, they still
make up a relatively significant fraction of the
population of the nation`s capital. It`s unlikely that
the causal connection between having many African
immigrants and voting against Bush is truly so strong.
So it`s also worth looking at the correlation
rankings among just the 50 states excluding
Washington D.C. This makes the percentage of
African immigrants fall to a more plausible 84th out
of 377 correlations, at -0.51.
In contrast, even without D.C. in the database, my two
measures still come in first and third. That shows that
my model of voting behavior is robust. Years Married
leads by a wide margin, at r = 0.87, while Total
Fertility is third at 0.81.
Remember, those are still almost stratospheric
correlation coefficients. It`s common to describe
correlations of 0.20 as "low," 0.40 as
"medium," and 0.60 as "high."
What`s cause and what`s effect? The arrow of causality
probably points in both directions.
Being conservative seems to increase Americans` desire
for marriage and children. Conversely, being married and
having children makes people more likely to be
politically conservative, because they have more that`s
From the GOP`s perspective, it`s a virtuous circle.
Which makes it all the odder that the Bush
Administration wants to open the borders, which would
reduce wages and drive up housing prices, punishing
those voters who would like to get married and start
families if they can afford it.
Note that, tellingly, in second place as an indicator of
GOP predilection, in between Years Married and Total
growth in housing prices between 1980 and 2004.
The coefficient is -0.82.
The negative sign means that the more housing prices
have risen, the more Democratic the state was.
For example, housing prices in Massachusetts, the most
Democratic state in the 2004 election, rose 516%, the
highest home inflation in the country.
In Utah, the most Republican state, house prices were up
Expensive housing retards family formation, which helps
the Democrats. Rising housing prices transfer wealth
from young people to old people.
That makes it harder for young voters to start down the
road to homeownership, marriage, babies—and committed
[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and