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Political intermarriage unpopular?

Thursday, Sep 27, 2012

* Partisanship is apparently quite intense out there, as the authors of a new study in Public Opinion Quarterly report

A pair of surveys asked Americans a more concrete question: in 1960, whether they would be “displeased” if their child married someone outside their political party, and, in 2010, would be “upset” if their child married someone of the other party.

In 1960, about 5 percent of Americans expressed a negative reaction to party intermarriage; in 2010, about 40 percent did (Republicans about 50 percent, Democrats about 30 percent).


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wordslinger - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 1:35 pm:

    That’s hard to believe. Very sad and kind of weird.

    Heck, I have a son who’s a Yankees and a Packers fan, and I don’t care.

  2. - The Captain - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 1:38 pm:

    I’m ok with that, but a Cubs fan is out of the question.

  3. - BCross - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 1:40 pm:

    For more than 3 1/2 decades I’ve followed my wife into small, rural polling places and announced “I’m just here to cancel out her votes!”.

  4. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 1:47 pm:

    My father-in-law is a Mets fan. Good thing I didn’t find out until after I married his daughter. But just to be safe, I supervise all of his visits with my kids.

  5. - amalia - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 2:05 pm:

    The Captain has it right on.

  6. - cermak_rd - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 2:15 pm:

    As the old tribalisms of class, religion and ethnic origin die away, we have to find something to divide ourselves.

    Oh right…we’re still divided by at least 2 of those things.

  7. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 2:51 pm:

    The genuinely pathetic part of this is the blind adherance to the broken two-party system in the U.S.

    But really, the result is not that surprising. There is very little social mobility in the U.S. today, so folks tend to gravitate towards like-minded people– why not mates? My bet is that there is also a strong correlation between increasing percentage of working women, whereas in the 1950s and prior more affluent working men would be likely to marry less affluent non-working women, which mixed backgrounds and presumably political viewpoints.

  8. - Crime Fighter - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 3:03 pm:

    == The genuinely pathetic part of this is the blind adherence (sic) to the broken two-party system in the U.S.==

    I couldn’t have said it better. AMEN!

  9. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 3:04 pm:

    =more affluent working men would be likely to marry less affluent non-working women, which mixed backgrounds and presumably political viewpoints.=

    That could be strictly your perception “Anonymous” 2:51. I believe that many women in the 1950s did not work, but could still be perceived as affluent because of their family’s status.

  10. - zatoichi - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 3:24 pm:

    What comes next?:
    - the studies of who prefers fast food breakfast in the car vs cereal at home
    -plastic vs paper (credit cards or grocery bags, you pick).

  11. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 3:25 pm:

    And I’ll add that the differences in perception between my comment and “Anonymous” 2:51’s comments could be one of the causes for the split shown in the poll.

    If you look at a combination of values and “affordability” (regardless of class), Republicans–I believe–are still perceived as being more traditional when it comes to “family”–specifically the roles of men and women. Democrats, specifically women, seem to value “independence” more highly and thus place their individual status, wealth, and needs on the same level or higher than that of their husbands.

    Therefore, Republicans, in general, might prefer a more traditional family and roles and therefore strive to raise their children in accordance with same and believe that their children will find greater happiness with another Republican.

  12. - Lil Enchilada - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 3:29 pm:

    Anonymous, what year is it? 1952?

  13. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 3:40 pm:

    Lil Enchilada, I for one am fine with 1952, assuming I interpeted your comment accurately. It is a preference.

    While I was raised in a two-income family (it was due to necessity), it was an environment where the differences in roles were still clear to me. My parents also had great love and mutual respect each another–even when there were differences in opinion.

    I find great joy in supporting my family members and contributing to their success, even in those instances where it might mean that I have to put my goals off to the side for a while. I don’t perceive it as sacrifice. For me, it’s a “labor of love,” if you will.

  14. - Responsa - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 3:55 pm:

    Back in the day most Americans simply viewed other people who voted differently than them– or had the opposite party affiliation– as decent and reasonable (but misguided) people who just saw the world differently or perhaps came from a different cultural upbringing. In the heated partisan political environment today, both Democrats and Republicans too often view and describe those of the other political persuasion as stupid or evil or hateful. Sadly, such judgmental rhetoric happens fairly regularly on this very blog. On the web, stories are legion about facebook members “unfriending” long time acquaintances, co-workers and even relatives over politics. It’s crazy.

  15. - carbaby - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 4:08 pm:

    For this reason, my parents(now in their 80’s) in more recent years(last 15-20) do not allow politics or religion to be discussed(this is hard to not do) during family gatherings because our family is quite split down party lines between my six sisters and their families on these topics. There had been heated arguments which led to this moratorium.

  16. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 4:13 pm:

    lol I can truly relate, carbaby. Sometimes I wish we had set the same rule in our home. However, we’re a family of “debaters,” so I knew from the get-go that enforcement would have been impossible. Happily, however, we’ve always been pretty good at following protocol when it comes to debating, and therefore walk away from the dinner table still loving each other…and still debating. ;)

  17. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 4:36 pm:

    Follow up question: What if your child married a person of the same party and the same sex?

  18. - 10th Indy - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 4:38 pm:

    “Sadly, such judgmental rhetoric happens fairly regularly on this very blog.”

    Not so much, thank goodness. Discussions may get heated, but this blog is one place on the intertubes where discourse tends not to devolve into hate rhetoric. Both Rich and the regulars seem to have a low tolerance for personal attacks.

    That said, Responsa the rest of your comment is spot-on.

  19. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 4:39 pm:

    ===What if your child married a person of the same party and the same sex?===

    I think more Republicans than Democrats would be upset about that too.

  20. - Skeeter - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 4:55 pm:

    Right now the GOP seems to have gone off the deep end on social issues.

    I would be concerned if my child married somebody who espoused those views. In particular, much of the GOP seems to have real problems treating women as equals. If my daughter married a Republican, I would be concerned about whether he would treat my daughter with respect.

    In 1988 or 1992 when the GOP was more moderate it would not have been as much of a concern.

    None of this really matters of course, since my kids won’t be married for 20 years.

  21. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 5:01 pm:

    Skeeter, I consider myself a Moderate, but I do not measure–and see absolutely no value in measuring–equality/inequality in my personal relationships. And if anyone believes that my views indicate that I’m “subservient” to anyone in my family, that’s HIGHLY inaccurate. No one would dare…just as I would not dare.

  22. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 5:09 pm:

    Maybe that’s what happens in a family of “alphas.” You learn quickly to get along and respect one another (as we do on this blog). Furthermore, you fulfill the needs of your family based on, amog other things, preferences, abilities, temperament, and opportunity.

    I guess I view families as a “merit-based” environment v. a political environment.

  23. - Skeeter - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 5:12 pm:

    Anon, in addition to my concern that a child may marry a Republican, I’m equally concerned that my marry a person who comments in all caps.

  24. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 5:15 pm:

    Skeeter, would you prefer the term “emphasis added” since I don’t have the technical knowledge required to boldface or italicize on this blog?

    Or would you prefer to weave the perception that I’m yelling at you?

  25. - cermak_rd - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 5:17 pm:

    Skeeter, re all caps,

    Well, sure but where’s the controversy in that?

  26. - Skeeter - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 5:21 pm:

    Frankly Anon, I don’t have a clue why you would single me out to be upset. For an alleged moderate, you sure do get wound up about people being mean to Republicans.

    I’m just glad my kids will never marry somebody like you. That’s the good news for today.

  27. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 5:26 pm:

    lol So you I guess you can be considered one of the 30% and I’ll allow myself to be categorized as one of the 50%, though I’ll also retain the right to change my mind…just in case an interesting through misguided Democract happens along.

  28. - soccermom - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 5:28 pm:

    If one of my girls tries to walk down the aisle with a Republican, when the pastor asks “If anyone knows just cause why this man may not marry this woman,” I won’t say a word. I’ll just pull the fire alarm.

  29. - reformer - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 6:22 pm:

    It’s worth noting that Republicans are 66% more likely to be upset about intermarriage than Democrats. Which reflects the source of the greater poison in our polarization.

  30. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 8:17 pm:

    So, more Illinoisans oppose bipartisan marriages than oppose gay marriage and civil unions?


    My guess is, they are worried about how their grandchildren would be raised…same used to be true for religion.

  31. - Conservative Republican - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 10:57 am:

    –In particular, much of the GOP seems to have real problems treating women as equals. If my daughter married a Republican, I would be concerned about whether he would treat my daughter with respect.==

    Skeeter, that has to be one of the most ignorant comments (which are not uncommon here) I have ever read on this blog. You must live in the 4th Ward or something; you clearly don’t know many Republican men.

    Best counter example: Did any Republican President since the 1960s treat his wife “without respect”, ever? You can’t cite an example. On the other hand, with Bill Clinton…

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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