The Genetics of Voting

By Rodolfo Cortes | October 24, 2008 | 0 comments

As the election approaches, biologists are narrowing in on the genetics of political behavior. In a study published in May in The American Political Science Review, University of California at San Diego scientists examined available data for roughly 200 identical twins and roughly 200 identical twins in the Los Angeles area. The results showed that as much as 53% of voting behavior may be explained by genes.

Although a nationally-representative study replicated the results, it may be fruitful to question the extent to which elections are decided by genes. Indeed, the authors conclude by noting that non-explicitly genetic factors like "turnout, partisanship, and prosocial behavior" may counter genetic influences in the upcoming election and beyond.

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