Fourth of July Celebrators More Likely to Become Republicans

Harvard study says kids who attend July 4 parades tend to join the GOP.

ByABC News
July 1, 2011, 4:37 PM

July 2, 2011— -- Attending a Fourth of July fireworks display or flag waving parade as a child slightly increases the likelihood that that kid will grow up to vote Republican, according to a study a team of Harvard University researchers.

Even a single July 4 celebration boosts the chance of turning a kid into a Republican, the study claims.

"One Fourth of July without rain before age 18 increases the likelihood of identifying as a Republican at age 40 by 2 percent, the share of people voting for the Republican candidate at age 40 by 4 percent, and the share of people turning out to vote at age 40 by 0.9 percent," the study concludes.

The findings leave some questions unanswered, a contention that David Yanagizawa-Drott, the assistant professor of public policy of Harvard University's Kennedy School who co-wrote the study with Andreas Madestam of Bocconi University, seems to acknowledge.

One thing not addressed in the report is that nearly every kid in America attends Fourth of July celebrations, but the Republican Party is a minority party.

Does Fourth of July Celebrations Turn Kids Into Republicans?

Calls to Democratic officials were not returned because they had left their offices early to celebrate the Fourth of July.

The researchers are sticking by their conclusions.

Yanagizawa-Drott told that they cannot be sure why the trend exists, but said "the celebration of Fourth of July embodies certain ideas or values that are closer to the Republican Party. This in turn affects how children experience the event."

"While our study enables us to identify the existence of these effects, it is much more difficult to disentangle which interpretation is more plausible," Yanagizawa-Drott said in an email to "There could, of course, be other explanations that are consistent with our findings. This is something that warrants further research."

He said they conducted the study because, "We were interested in understanding whether important social events during childhood could form one's identity and political views later in life. Given the popularity and historical importance of Fourth of July celebrations, we thought this was a highly interesting event to study."