Dean Defeat a Result of the “Roe Effect”

NEW YORK, January 28, 2004 ( - Howard Dean may have been defeated in New Hampshire in the recent Democratic leadership race there by the pervasive “Roe effect.” Exit-poll data from yesterday’s New Hampshire primary revealed that John Kerry out-polled Dean in every age group—except for 18- to 29-year-olds.  Unfortunately for Dean, this age group wasn’t of much use - they only make up 13 percent of the electorate, versus the 30 percent in the 30- to 45-year-old group and 46 percent for 45- to 64-year-olds.  The reason why the 18 to 29 year-olds were of no help? They don’t exist.  As coined by Opinion Journal writer James Taranto, Dean was a victim of the “Roe effect” - abortion has killed many of those who would otherwise now be alive and in this age category.  After last week’s loss in Iowa, precinct captain for Dean’s campaign, George Davey, explained his loss there, saying that “I think if we could blame [Dean’s loss] on anyone, blame it on the 18- to 25-year-olds, because they were nonexistent.”  As Taranto points out, population figures reveal that numbers take a sharp dive “between ages 35 (1965) and 34 (1966), coinciding with the end of the baby boom (and, perhaps not coincidentally, with the Griswold v. Connecticut decision, in which the U.S. Supreme Court established a legal right to purchase contraceptives). Then it declines slowly each year, before undergoing another dramatic drop between ages 28 (1972) and 27 (1973)—just after Roe v. Wade. Nationwide figures show the same trend.”  Read James Taranto’s Opinion Journal article at:

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