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3Dec/120

In Case I Ever Get Around to Maryland

» Wash. Post: Washington suburbs pivotal in Maryland vote on ballot initiatives

Somewhere in the midst of election analysis, I owe it to myself to get around to looking at the Maryland ballot measures in more detail. For now, this'll tide me over ...

Del. Neil Parrott (R-Washington County), who led online petition drives to bring several measures before voters, said the analysis shows how the ballot questions transcended traditional political boundaries.

“Prince George’s County was strongly for Obama, yet it came out against changing the definition of marriage,” he said. “Anne Arundel County was pro-Romney, and it went for changing the definition of marriage. What we see are people voting values that don’t necessarily match up with what their party affiliation is.”

Exit polling done in Maryland on Election Day showed that same-sex marriage was overwhelmingly supported by voters younger than 40 and rejected by every other older group of voters. It won among white men and women and among black women, but it was rejected by black men. Voters who are college graduates, liberal, unmarried, high-income and do not regularly attend religious services were far more likely to support gay marriage than voters who are conservative, have incomes below $100,000 or are weekly church-goers.

I'm old enough to recognize that political coalitions that fragment over specific issues such as these have a hard time holding firm over time. You can review how the Religious Right movement picked away at pro-life Democrats beginning in the 70s for pretty decent lesson in how that works. But what seems to be interesting here (and even evidenced here) is that it doesn't seem to be a one-way phenomenon. How much of a disparity the issue divide matters in each party's coalition is still something to speculate on and possibly even measure more objectively. But either way, this should be worth remembering if we ever see changes in Democratic Party support levels among African-Americans, Hispanics ... and possibly even Asians.

18Feb/121

The Offense Formerly Known As “Living In Sin”

NY Times: For Women Under 30, Most Births Occur Outside Marriage

While the "war over marriage" takes place, the real battle seems to be elsewhere ...

It used to be called illegitimacy. Now it is the new normal. After steadily rising for five decades, the share of children born to unmarried women has crossed a threshold: more than half of births to American women under 30 occur outside marriage.

...

Large racial differences remain: 73 percent of black children are born outside marriage, compared with 53 percent of Latinos and 29 percent of whites. And educational differences are growing. About 92 percent of college-educated women are married when they give birth, compared with 62 percent of women with some post-secondary schooling and 43 percent of women with a high school diploma or less, according to Child Trends.

Almost all of the rise in nonmarital births has occurred among couples living together. While in some countries such relationships endure at rates that resemble marriages, in the United States they are more than twice as likely to dissolve than marriages.

Surprisingly, this isn't much of an issue you hear about in political terms these days. Easier to scapegoat, I suppose.

I've sifted through Charles Murray's latest book and remain as unimpressed as I was when he co-authored "The Bell Curve." The standard issue vilification (and even mis-characterization) of his main thesis isn't as remarkable as is the ease at which he tends to misstate causality with symptoms. He definitely picks an interesting field to cover. Its just that, regardless of his politics, its a shame he's not a better social scientist.

And reasons such as the one covered here are part and parcel of what's intriguing about the subject matter. I've not yet read the Child Trends report referenced in the article. But, naturally, I'm curious to see how much of the increase in out-of-wedlock births are a function of changing demographics for the under-30 set and how much is due to increasing rates within demographic groups. But hey ... that's me for ya.

   

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