The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller

Politics and dating

Photo of Emily Esfahani Smith
Emily Esfahani Smith
Managing Editor, Defining Ideas

The Financial Times recently ran a fascinating report about the inner-workings of the successful online dating website Match.com. Like many social networking websites, Match.com is powered by a sophisticated algorithm — or mathematical function — that uses a number of variables to bring people together in the virtual world. In this case, Match.com is bringing single people together for the sake of meeting online and then, if all goes well, dating in the real world.

The algorithm needs data to work. It gets that data from the way users behave on the site. For example, if a female user is browsing the profiles of older men, the algorithm will know that she is interested in older men, and it will filter her search results accordingly.

From data like these, Match.com was able to draw a conclusion about politics and dating. According to Match.com engineer Amarnath Thombre, “Conservatives are far more open to reaching out to someone [on the dating site] with a different point of view than a liberal is.” In other words, conservatives are far more tolerant of dating liberals than liberals are of spending time with conservatives.

Why would this be? First of all, when it comes to dating, we are dealing with a young demographic. Almost half of Match.com’s singles are between the ages of 18 and 35. Younger people tend to be more liberal, so there is likely to be a smaller pool of single conservatives on the website. If a conservative wants to maximize his chances of getting a date, he will need to reach out across the aisle, so the speak, and be open to dating liberals.

Could there, however, be a deeper philosophical reason behind the open-mindedness of conservatives when it comes to dating? There may be. Examining other differences between liberals and conservatives can help us answer this question. A good place to start is Arthur Brooks’ “Gross National Happiness,” a book that argues that conservatives are twice as happy as liberals. In a 2008 interview about the book, Brooks said, “What determines whether or not [people are] happy is their private lives. Politics thankfully is not that important to people.” Part of the reason liberals are less happy than conservatives is because their private lives are so defined by the public world of politics.

Consider how a liberal would react to a political loss versus how a conservative would react. Brooks, an economist and president of the American Enterprise Institute, notes of conservatives: “If you’re conservative and a liberal wins the White House it wouldn’t make you less happy.” Meanwhile, the Pew Research Center has found that “liberal Democrats are more likely than other voters to say they would have an intense emotional reaction if their candidate does not win.”

Liberals are also far more likely than conservatives to follow election results, donate to political causes and volunteer for political campaigns. According to the Pew Research Center, during the 2008 election cycle 34 percent of liberal Democrats donated to a campaign, while only 13 percent of Republicans did. Conservatives were donating their money, too — but to charities, many of them religious. As George Will wrote in 2008, “Although liberal families’ incomes average 6 percent higher than those of conservative families, conservative-headed households give, on average, 30 percent more to charity than the average liberal-headed household.”

  • Anonymous

    If liberals won’t date or marry anyone who isn’t liberal, can you just imagine how butt ugly they’re going to be in another 3 or 4 generations?……. (full body shiver)…..

  • Jeannie10

    What an interesting article!!! I was a liberal for 40 years until 2008 when I became Independent. It is shocking to see the intolerance coming from a party that prides itself on being tolerant while accusing the other side of intolerance. It is absolutely ridiculous!! The bullying tactics from the liberals are one of the biggest hypocrisies around, and it would stand to reason that in dating it would remain the same. Here’s a perspective on why the lefties have gone so far astray in denying others their humanity:

    http://womenwintoo.blogspot.com/2011/08/why-no-one-listens-to-feminists-anymore.html

  • Dipstick

    Liberalism is a cult.  As with all cults, its members are insecure losers who find their identity through membership in the cult.  They fear contact with outsiders who might threaten that identity.  Scientologists…The Klan…The Manson Family…Liberals…   It’s all the same. 

  • voltage

    As a conservative who’s  dated on the internet sites recently, I can tell you politics doesn’t come up much. If you’re trying to score with your partner, and she wants you to, you don’t want to blow the chemistry. It was funny that while I left my politics blank in my profile, almost all the matches were lib. But I’m a guy that won’t argue with a pretty face, or a pair of willing feminine attributes.
      

  • Nightburnr2009

    “Guess it’s easier to date someone who you think is stupid than who you think is evil.”

    That’s the correct answer.  I was going to say something similar.

    Liberal women think conservative men are simply mean and evil.  A conservative man sees a liberal woman as just female and possibly somewhat childish, ignorant, idealistic, irrational, etc.  But he doesn’t think she’s evil — unless she’s a hateful activist who really is helping destroy the country.

     

  • MotownRepub

    I completely disagree !  While I think maybe that was the case, I don’t think that is true any longer, or at least it is changing rapidly. I truly believe that Conservatives are becoming increasingly and outwardly bold about their political beliefs and less tolerant of those that hold liberal views that are sending our nation down a path of debt, dependency on the state, and godlessness.

  • Kristen

    Id have to disagree with you a little bit. I am a conservative, but it is because I am a follower of Christ first. True conservatism’s root comes from Christianity and ideas that are pleasing to God. My beliefs most definitely tie into who I am with. I would never be with a liberal because I know that he wouldn’t value certain traditions, morals, or ethical issues the way that I do. True conservatives/Christians that have a heart after God and seeing His principles established in America would not date across party lines just because the other person is most likely not a believer. And that is just unbiblical…

  • Kristen

    Id have to disagree with you a little bit. I am a conservative, but it is because I am a follower of Christ first. True conservatism’s root comes from Christianity and ideas that are pleasing to God. My beliefs most definitely tie into who I am with. I would never be with a liberal because I know that he wouldn’t value certain traditions, morals, or ethical issues the way that I do. True conservatives/Christians that have a heart after God and seeing His principles established in America would not date across party lines just because the other person is most likely not a believer. And that is just unbiblical…

    • voltage

      Allah be praised!

    • voltage

      Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

      Numbers 31

      And we’d hate to be unbiblical.

  • Hanblecheya

    My only consolation to having to live on the planet of the brain dead left and pay for their free loading constituency is the knowledge of just how intense their angst is while a Republican is in the white house. That and the fun I have in taunting them. Shame on me. Dumb, dumber, dumbest, dumocrat!

  • Anonymous

    Fascinating. In a completely useless “I’ll bore someone with this at the water cooler” type way. I’d be more interested if they broke down the types of photos people post on their online dating profile as it correlates to the weather.

    Then again, this guys seems to have started down this path:
    http://www.aguidetoselfsabotage.com/?p=258