A friend recently pointed out that there is a “Marriage Gap” in Party Identification and I went to look up more. This surprised me since I have a bunch of friends and myself who got married and haven’t seen much in political changes. Gallop does some analysis and find that even correcting for other factors (age, economics, etc) there is still a gap. They don’t however know which comes first the Marriage or the Party Identification:
There are a number of potential explanations for marriage’s impact on presidential vote choice. One might be that conservatives and Republicans, with their philosophical commitment to social traditions and customs, are especially likely to get married. Setting aside religious considerations and the innate desire to marry that apply to a broad cross-section of people, it may be that Republican voters also consider marriage an expression of civic responsibility that stems from their political beliefs. On that point, a Gallup poll earlier this year found that 45% of married individuals believed their views on social issues to be conservative or very conservative, while 30% of the nonmarried described their social beliefs similarly.
On the other hand, it is entirely possible that marriage and the ensuing transformation of a person’s life that accompanies such an action have a profound impact on a person’s political philosophy. Such changes include a stronger interest in matters of importance to a household/family, such as a desire for greater security and stability, and that may alter a person’s vote preference.