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Don't Rain on My Parade: Sunny July Fourth Means More Republicans?


Harvard study links rain-free Independence Days to Republican identification, voting behavior

Were your childhood Fourth of Julys chock full of sunshine-drenched parades and patriotic fireworks shows? If so, there's a slightly higher chance you're a Republican, according to a Harvard University study.

Researchers Andreas Madestam and David Yanagizawa-Drott found that celebrating Independence Day can impact people's political preferences, and much of it comes down to the weather.

Matching rainfall data with the American National Election Studies, the study found that a rain-free Fourth of July makes a person 1.3 percentage points more likely to identify as a Republican. Each rain-free Fourth a child has between the ages of 3 and 18 increases the odds by 0.76 percentage points that they will be a Republican by age 40.

Though the numbers are small, Madestam and Yanagizawa-Drott said they found no such correlation between celebrating the Fourth of July and being a Democrat.

The study extends to voting behavior as well: One rain-free Fourth of July increases the chance of voting for a Republican candidate by age 40 by 1 percentage point, with no effect on voting for a Democrat. Voter turnout later in life is also increased by 0.62 percentage points for every rain-free Independence Day.

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