The Campaign Spot

Do Lefities and Righties Have Differing Levels of Free Time?

I’ve been casually following the discussion of whether Republicans are using the Internet as effectively as their rivals, and I think Patrick Ruffini has must-read thoughts on that subject. This section in particular stood out:

In the Blogads survey, there’s support for another theory often advanced to explain the difference between the online right and left. That Republicans have kids. Here’s a breakdown of household size; over 100% indicates a greater liberal propensity in that group.

1 143.4%
2 109.5%
3 102.2%
4 82.6%
5 49.7%
6 33.1%
7 28.4%
8+ 34.6%

These are fairly staggering numbers. Liberals are fully 40% more likely to live by themselves. Conservatives are twice as likely to have 3 kids, and 3 times as likely to have 4 kids or more.
Intuitively, I think that has a lot more to do with levels of activism than age. After all, retired people should have a lot of time on their hands and are outsized participants in other aspects of the political process. But someone with kids (and presumably a steady job to support those kids) is a lot less likely to have time to refresh Daily Kos.

Anecdotally, that rings generally true. (Yes, there are exceptions, and I know plenty of them.) I guess a relevant question is whether a political movement needs its members to be able to devote a large amount of time and energy to advancing its cause. Because a lot of natural conservatives, no matter how strongly they may hold their positions, will not be able to match the time commitments of someone who lives alone.
Also – how many university-affiliated left-of-center types can engage in political activism as part of their professional life? How many university students, not having full-time jobs or children, can choose political activism as a major time commitment?

Most Popular

There Is No COVID Plan

The 2020 campaign for president has been surprisingly empty of substance since Joe Biden became the nominee. The Republicans notably didn’t even bother updating their party platform. Donald Trump’s team has spent many of the last days of the campaign making personal attacks, focused on the alleged financial ... Read More

There Is No COVID Plan

The 2020 campaign for president has been surprisingly empty of substance since Joe Biden became the nominee. The Republicans notably didn’t even bother updating their party platform. Donald Trump’s team has spent many of the last days of the campaign making personal attacks, focused on the alleged financial ... Read More
Elections

What Trump Needs to Win

On the menu today: walking through President Trump’s not-so-implausible route to 270 electoral votes, state by state, and taking a look at the gubernatorial races this year -- where GOP candidates from deep red states to a few blue ones are polling considerably ahead of Trump this cycle; and how the country ... Read More
Elections

What Trump Needs to Win

On the menu today: walking through President Trump’s not-so-implausible route to 270 electoral votes, state by state, and taking a look at the gubernatorial races this year -- where GOP candidates from deep red states to a few blue ones are polling considerably ahead of Trump this cycle; and how the country ... Read More
U.S.

The Lies We’re Told about the American Story

Editor’s Note: The following essay was adapted from remarks delivered to the annual dinner of the Lincoln Club of Orange County, in California, on October 4. Every American heart must break when lies are told to boys and girls, who then grow up to think the worst about their past: that the American ... Read More
U.S.

The Lies We’re Told about the American Story

Editor’s Note: The following essay was adapted from remarks delivered to the annual dinner of the Lincoln Club of Orange County, in California, on October 4. Every American heart must break when lies are told to boys and girls, who then grow up to think the worst about their past: that the American ... Read More
Books

Orwell, Huxley, and Us

To hear some people tell it, America entered a dystopia long before the coronavirus and measures undertaken to combat it altered everyday life almost to the point of unrecognizability. As for which dystopia, and when, well — that depends on whom one asks. For many on the left, the annus horribilis was 2016, ... Read More
Books

Orwell, Huxley, and Us

To hear some people tell it, America entered a dystopia long before the coronavirus and measures undertaken to combat it altered everyday life almost to the point of unrecognizability. As for which dystopia, and when, well — that depends on whom one asks. For many on the left, the annus horribilis was 2016, ... Read More