Our study can account for a restrictive partner market, and still show that politics affects who people choose to ask for dates.
The effects we show are above and beyond those that exist simply due to restrictive partner markets.
You can imagine that there are a lot of parts of the country where marriages or dating couples were on average composed of two conservatives not because people picked conservatives, but because only politically conservative people were available.How did political orientation compare to religious orientation in driving people’s interest in potential dates? People who aren’t interested in politics are not that excited about dating people who are really interested in politics.If you know people who are not interested in politics, then this strikes me as completely accurate.That’s the equivalent of being plopped down on Yale’s campus when the freshmen arrive and knowing everyone’s political views, and four years later seeing who became couples, comparing that to what we knew about them before they became a couple, and determining which characteristics explain who ended up being a couple. The online data provided evidence that at the earliest stage of dating, people are looking for potential partners who are like them politically.Even when you account for a lot of other characteristics on which people choose dating partners, people seem to be more likely to reach out to people who have a shared political orientation.