The baby bust

Do Democrats lose because liberals don't procreate enough?

Published August 22, 2006 4:35PM (EDT)

There are all sorts of reasons why Democrats haven't done better in recent elections, and we would have thought we had wallowed in each and every one of them by now. Then along comes Syracuse University professor Arthur C. Brooks with a theory we hadn't considered yet: Liberals don't procreate enough.

Brooks explains it all in today's Wall Street Journal: "According to the 2004 General Social Survey, if you picked 100 unrelated politically liberal adults at random, you would find that they had, between them, 147 children. If you picked 100 conservatives, you would find 208 kids. That's a 'fertility gap' of 41 percent. Given that about 80 percent of people with an identifiable party preference grow up to vote the same way as their parents, this gap translates into lots more little Republicans than little Democrats to vote in future elections. Over the past 30 years this gap has not been below 20 percent -- explaining, to a large extent, the current ineffectiveness of liberal youth voter campaigns today."

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

MORE FROM Tim Grieve

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

War Room