What your beer says about your politics, in one chart


Graphic courtesy Tracey Robinson and Will Feltus, National Media Research Planning and Placement LLC

When we took a look at consumer data showing correlations between an individual’s favorite spirits and his or her political leanings, we were inundated by one query: What about beer?

Well, the next time you have to bring a six-pack to a friend’s house, now you’ll know the delicate political calculations involved: Once again, the good folks at National Media Research Planning and Placement have taken it upon themselves to chart the correlations between beer preference and partisan leanings.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, beers you might expect to find someone drinking while watching a football game — Miller Lite, Coors Light, basically anything that bills itself as a low-calorie beer — leans Republican.

Rolling Rock, Milwaukee’s Best and Miller High Life, on the other hand, are hipster beers. They lean Democratic. So do microbrews (Boy, the stereotype jokes practically write themselves, don’t they?). Heavier beers like Miller Genuine Draft and Budweiser lean Democratic more than their lighter counterparts.

But beer drinkers are far less likely to show up to the polls than wine drinkers are. Oenophiles who prefer Cabernet Sauvignon are more likely to vote Republican, while Sauvignon blanc drinkers are overwhelmingly Democratic voters.

And here’s another interesting distinction to draw: Those who drink brown liquors tend to vote Republican, but the type of whiskey one prefers says something about how likely one is to vote. Someone who enjoys a nice single-malt scotch is more likely to cast a ballot than someone who prefers Canadian whiskey, and Bourbon drinkers turn out with the least frequency.

Our thanks to Tracey Robinson, Will Feltus and the National Media team for crunching the numbers, which initially came from Scarborough Research.

Reid Wilson covers state politics and policy for the Washington Post's GovBeat blog. He's a former editor in chief of The Hotline, the premier tip sheet on campaigns and elections, and he's a complete political junkie.
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