Can love conquer politics? Democrat-Republican marriages in California

In an era of increasingly polarized politics, Republicans and Democrats still manage to find enough common ground for romance—even marriage—though not very often.

On the eve of the 2016 primary election, here’s an approximate look at California’s mixed political pairs. At least one study suggests such unions could have implications for Tuesday’s voting.

The Marriage of Politics

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Using voter registration records to identify married couples is an inexact science, especially with data restricted to two-voter households.  These marriage rates are approximations, not precise figures.

Still, these estimates offer a window into the relative rarity of marriages between Democrats and Republicans in a state where registration numbers would suggest otherwise.

If California voters married at random, most unions would be between Democrats and Republicans, the numbers indicate. Yet such duos account for only about 1 in 10 households.

Perhaps political divisions used to be less of an obstacle for romance: Those in politically mixed pairs tend to be older.

Age and Marriage Across Party LInes

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Marriage outside of one’s political party may have implications for elections.

New research from a Yale University political scientist indicates that across the country, couples of mixed political persuasion are less likely to vote.

Turnout Effect?

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Considering factors such as age, gender, geography and race, the researcher found that marrying across party lines decreases the odds of voting, with the effect stronger for Republicans than for Democrats.

The choice to mix it up may simply reflect a lower level of interest in politics, the researcher said.

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Derek Duarte, 26, sits outside of his small motorhome near downtown Mountain View, California, on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. Duarte lives here with his girlfriend to save money while he pursues an Automotive Technology degree at De Anza College in Cupertino. Duarte has been a beneficiary of the Food Pantry at the school which has helped him lower his food costs. Photo by Gary Reyes/ Bay Area News Group

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