As if Americans aren’t divided by their politics enough, one company might be making the gap just a little wider by targeting people’s dating lives.
Political Matchmakers, founded by J.D. Beebe, Alex Fondrier and Francois Briard, is the parent company of the dating sites RedStateDate and BlueStateDate. (Side note: RedStateDate is not affiliated with RedState.com, a conservative grassroots activist website; so don’t get your hopes up for a date with Erick Erickson.) Both websites aim to attract users who place a priority on finding a love interest with similar political views: RedState for conservatives, BlueState for liberals.
Fondrier completely rejects the idea that the dating sites add any division between Americans. “One recurring theme in the media is, ‘well, aren’t your dating sites contributing to the atmosphere of division in our country?'” he said. “When it comes to starting a long term relationship… studies have shown the overwhelming majority of people want to be in a long term relationship with someone that shares their political views. This decision has been made long before we came on to the scene.”
It’s true. A study published last year revealed that married couples with opposing political views are rare.
Like other dating sites, RedState and BlueState require you to register and fill out a profile with a photograph and bio. There are spots to fill in preferences for music, movies and such.
Then it takes a sharp turn to politics… There are questionnaires on three separate topics: taxes and economy, foreign policy and social issues. After answering all the questions, users are given a score on a scale of 0 to 100 (on BlueState 100 is the most liberal; on RedState 100 is the most conservative).
Both sites are open to gays and lesbians. “Oh yeah. Log Cabin Republicans are welcome,” Fondrier said. “Anyone regardless of sexual orientation can sign up on our sites.”
Unlike other sites such as OKCupid, there are no questions on RedState and BlueState about STDs. “No, no. We don’t do that,” Fondrier said. (For those with STDs, we located an aggregate of the top 10 “the best STD Dating Websites”
Also unlike OKCupid, the sites aren’t free. Right now there’s a promotion: one month’s registration gets a full year’s access for free. Otherwise, the pricing breaks down as follows:
- 1 month: $17.95
- 3 month: $7.95/month
- 6 month: $5.95/month
Fondrier said the most traction the site has received comes from Washington, D.C., likely from people working in government and government relations. He said he has noticed people registering who are in the political minority of their region. For example, a liberal who lives in Alabama or a conservative in New York City.
FishbowlDC registered for an account and once all was done, the featured profile on the homepage was this little lady, username CalifKaren (below). As you can see, one of her pictures features her with a cat on her head: