Abortion’s Selective Pressure on the American Electorate

by on June 29th, 2004

Currently tied for #11 on Blogdex, we find this statistical analysis of the effect of abortion on elections, which appears to be a relatively straightforward case of different reproductive rates. Republicans may have already increased their share of the electorate by 4%, and Democrats decreased theirs by 5%, as a result. And by 2020, those numbers may have tripled, giving Republicans a nationwide edge of nearly 3:2 (please note that this is an extrapolation, not a paraphrase from the article).

If they all vote, that is. Voter turnout in the 2000 Presidential election was only 51.3%, and in the 2002 Congressional election it was only 40.1%. With participation rates like that, a party could be as small as one-quarter of the population and still win consistently — if its adherents are motivated.

Now (via Instapundit) we find that Andrew Sullivan writes (with the word “fisking” in the link!):

“[Washington Post columnist] William Raspberry … should have the basic integrity to say that Moore’s movie is not just ‘sly’ but a fantastical piece of malevolent propaganda whose only connective thread is a pathological demonization of the President of the United States. Raspberry cannot have it both ways. And the fact that he tries to get away with it says a lot about how corrupted the left has become in our national discourse.”

Uh, OK. Corruption’s in the eye of the beholder, I guess. But if the left is experiencing a demographic decline — and it almost certainly is — then its easiest method of countering that decline may be to get its constituencies riled up so that they’ll go to the polls in disproportionate numbers. Human nature being what it is, Yeats‘ “The best lack all convictions, while the worst/Are full of passionate intensity” comes into play.

This is a somewhat testable hypothesis. If I’m right, rhetoric will become more strident, and undoubtedly more distateful to many people; but Democratic defeats will be fewer in number than a straight-line extrapolation of their support would predict.

Jay Manifold