Mixed partisan households and electoral participation in the United States

2018-10-10T20:10:16Z (GMT) by Eitan Hersh Yair Ghitza
<div><p>Research suggests that partisans are increasingly avoiding members of the other party—in their choice of neighborhood, social network, even their spouse. Leveraging a national database of voter registration records, we analyze 18 million households in the U.S. We find that three in ten married couples have mismatched party affiliations. We observe the relationship between inter-party marriage and gender, age, and geography. We discuss how the findings bear on key questions of political behavior in the US. Then, we test whether mixed-partisan couples participate less actively in politics. We find that voter turnout is correlated with the party of one’s spouse. A partisan who is married to a co-partisan is more likely to vote. This phenomenon is especially pronounced for partisans in closed primaries, elections in which non-partisan registered spouses are ineligible to participate.</p></div>