Here's a Valentine's Day fact that might surprise you: Marriage wound up being a top predictor for voting Republican in this past election, according to Brad Wilcox of the Family Research Council (FRC).
"Families and communities with more children tend to vote red," Wilcox told American Family Radio Network's "Washington Watch." "But there is another key dimension: Marriage continues to shape U.S. elections. This past November, married Americans and communities with more married men and women were markedly more likely to vote Republican.
"You see this trend across the board, and there's a very strong association between people's marital status and how they vote in American elections."
Both married men (56%-42%) and married women (52%-48%) were more likely to vote for President Donald Trump this past November, per the FRC.
"That was a striking finding, that there was a majority for both – and that there was an increase from the last election to the current election," Wilcox told host Tony Perkins.
It stands to reason those with more traditional families tend to lean conservative – "whether being conservative drives you to marriage or marriage drives you to conservatism" – Wilcox added.
"We do know that Americans who report that they're more conservative are more likely to get married in the first place — and they're actually more likely to stay married today. And that sort of divide between conservatives and liberals has grown since the 1970s.
"But we also think that sort of the transition into marriage might make people more conservative as well, that just your attitude toward taxes or attitudes toward government could be conditioned or shaped by whether or not you have a spouse and the financial resources that tend to come with having that stability on the home front."
The findings by the FRC should be considered in shaping political platforms and public policy, Wilcox concluded, particularly because polling showing half of Americans reveal they did not have as many kids as they wanted to have due to finances.
"We need to be thinking of constructive ideas," he says, "that make family formation easier for ordinary Americans.
"It's time for policymakers to look more closely at the economic challenges facing ordinary families."
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