Local

Harvard Study: Kids At July 4 Events More Likely To Side With GOP

View Comments

FLOWER MOUND (CBSDFW.COM) – Celebrating independence seems as natural as baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie, but a Harvard study of voters born between 1920 and 1990 suggests attending just one July 4 celebration under the age of 18 has an effect.

These children, the study says, have a two percent greater likelihood of growing up identifying themselves as Republican, and four percent will vote Republican. North Texas families attending similar events weren’t so quick to buy into that, though.

“Oh, I would be suspicious of how the study was conducted,” said Mario Covarrubias, whose wife and five kids joined him at the Children’s Independence Day Parade in Flower Mound. “I think that Republicans and Democrats both celebrate the 4th of July; I think patriots are on both sides of the aisle.”

Parade attendee Abbey Stanford agreed with him.

“I don’t think it really makes a difference. I celebrate all the holidays with my daughter, because she gets into it, I think it’s something to celebrate because it’s the independence of America. I don’t really think it has a reflection on whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat.”

Harvard is hardly a conservative think tank. So why this conclusion?

“I don’t think Democrats should be tremendously worried about it,” said UNT Political Science Professor Valerie Martinez-Ebers.

She teaches American government, and she believes the Harvard study over-samples whites and under-samples lower income workers as it depends partly on an earlier study of American voters, the American National Election study.

“We don’t know what their partisanship is of their parents, we don’t even know where they lived as children; we just know where they live now – which is in Republican-dominated counties, which is where they find the effects.”

And she believes Independence Day celebrations are important – no matter party affiliation – and that’s what residents should see as the bottom line.

“The importance of parents teaching their children about what a national holiday is, and the significance of what the 4th of July is, of course. “

Back in Flower Mound, one of the primary July 4 sponsors is the Summit Club of Flower Mound, which gave away 3,000 hot dogs at the event.

It says specifically in its literature that it is a “non-political organization.”

Club member and Vice President Claudio Forest said political involvement has nothing to do with the club’s service.

“I can’t say that I’ve voted strictly Republican or strictly Democrat, so I don’t think that’s a valid point,” he said.

Cooking hot dogs alongside him was Scott Baker, who added, “in this area no matter whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, if you love your country you’re out here and you’re enjoying your community, your friends, and your family.”

View Comments