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Few Married Couples Disagree on Politics


Nearly 90 percent of married respondents to the Elections and Families Survey said they fully or mostly agreed with family members about the candidates they’d support. Do family conversations about politics impact voting decisions?

by Seth Eisenberg and Rachel Schindler

On Election Day, PAIRS Foundation, an industry leader in relationship and marriage education, conducted a national survey to understand how often married couples talked about the midterm elections, if they agreed with each, and how that influenced their likelihood of voting.

For the Elections and Families Survey, 8,747 surveys were distributed electronically. By the end of Election Day, 298 were returned, of which 209 were submitted by individuals who were married and eligible to vote. Just over half of those respondents, 54% were female; 46% male. Ages ranged from 18 – 65 and older, with 26.3% between the ages of 35-44, 28.7% between 45-54, and 24.4% 55-64.

Nearly 70% said that they’ve either been very happy or somewhat happy over the past 60 days, with 27.3% very happy, 41.1% somewhat happy, 14.8% equally happy and unhappy days, 12.9% somewhat unhappy, and 1.9% very unhappy.

Most paid the same or more attention to the midterm election as they had to the 2008 Presidential contest with 28.7% reporting they paid more attention, 43.1% same attention, and 14.8% less attention.

Family members frequently talked about the elections at home, with nearly a third, 31.1%, saying they talked about the candidates nearly every day, 38.3% once or twice a week, 24.9% once or twice in the past month, and 5.7% not at all.

Nearly ninety percent said they either fully agreed or agreed more often than not with family members about the candidates they’d support with 38.8% saying they fully agreed, 50.7% agreeing more than not, 6.2% disagreeing more than agreeing, and less than 1% completely disagreeing.

More than a quarter of these respondents, 26.8%, reported voting early in the midterms. Fifty two percent voted on Election Day, 4.8% weren’t voting, and 16.3% still planned to vote at the time of the survey.

Three out of four said other family members also voted in the midterm election. For most, 65.1%, one other household member voted, 8.6% two others, 3.8% three or more others, 17.7% no others voted, and 4.8% didn’t know.

Seth Eisenberg is President of the nonprofit PAIRS Foundation, an industry leader in relationship and marriage education.