Do Republican Presidential Candidates Benefit from High Birth Rates? Putting the "Fertility Gap" to the Test
CitationRaley, Billy Gage. 2020. Do Republican Presidential Candidates Benefit from High Birth Rates? Putting the "Fertility Gap" to the Test. Master's thesis, Harvard University Division of Continuing Education.
AbstractDuring the 2004 election cycle, journalists discovered a correlation between state fertility rates and presidential election results. The media observed that states with high fertility rates tended to support George W. Bush, and states with low fertility rates tended to support Al Gore and John Kerry. This phenomenon came to be known as the "Fertility Gap."
After political pundits started discussing the Fertility Gap, a few scholars also picked up on the topic. To date, discussion of the Fertility Gap has been limited to elections between 2000 to 2012. A longitudinal study of the Fertility Gap has never been conducted.
This thesis seeks to fill this gap in the research by quantifying the relationship between state fertility rates and GOP margins of victory/defeat in presidential elections from 1940 to 2016. Its findings reveal that the GOP's current fertility advantage is not a product of George W. Bush's outreach towards evangelical parents (as some have speculated), but instead goes back much further in history. The thesis provides historical context for interpreting its findings, explaining how issues like school desegregation, the culture war, and Hispanic immigration may have affected the Fertility Gap over the years.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37367668
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