A majority of married couples sit on the same side of the political aisle — but a surprising 30 percent are in a "mismatched partisan pair," an analysis by the statistics-focused blog FiveThirtyEight reports.
"The upshot — which is the same for every city we have explored — is that … People sort into relationships with co-partisans, but not that much," FiveThirtyEight blogger Eitan Hersh writes.
The finding appears surprising in light of recent polling that shows Democrats and Republicans have very unfavorable views of each other.
The FiveThirtyEight analysis finds that:
- 30 percent of married households contain a mismatched partisan pair, with a third of those Democrats married to Republicans. The others are partisans married to independents.
"Perhaps unsurprisingly, there are twice as many Democratic-Republican pairs in which the male partner, rather than the female partner, is the Republican," Hersh writes.
- 55 percent of married couples are Democratic-only, or Republican-only
There's a much higher rate of mixed-partisan couples among younger pairs than older pairs, primarily because more younger people register as independents.
"While the proportion of Democratic-independent and Republican-independent pairs shrinks from the youngest couples to the oldest couples, the proportion of Democratic-Republican pairs actually doubles," Hersh writes.
- Partisans married to like-partisans voted at much higher rates than partisans married to independents or to members of the opposite party.
The analysis had the Twitter-sphere weighing in as well, with one poster wondering, "isn't there an assumption here that party preference is not changed after marriage?"
Another noted "Mixed political marriages are hard."
And a New Hampshire poster writes: "You wouldn't believe how many mixed political marriages we have!"
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