How Your Politics Affects Your Drinking… It&...

How Your Politics Affects Your Drinking… It’s Science!

The political blogosphere has been abuzz for a few days about a new study from a firm called National Media Research Planning and Placement LLC, which details American consumer preferences for various liquor and wine brands as a function of party preference and predilection to actually vote. Here’s the graph, click to pop up as large a version as I could find.

Booze preference by party and liklihood of voting
Graphic courtesy Jennifer Dube, National Media Research Planning and Placement LLC,
via CNN, because the Washington Post thinks their analysis is so damned valuable that you don’t need the original data in readable form.

As I said, this chart has been analyzed to death all over the political blogs. And by analyzed to death, I mean repeated from the original press release. The CNN article is the best, in that it seems to hit all the points cherry picked by other outlets. A few of these highlights to tempt the political junkie to read the CNN article include:

  • The most likely voters drink wine. The only liquor brand in the survey to crack the top 15 in terms of likelihood to vote, regardless of party affiliation, is the venerable Tanqueray.
  • People who drink liquor or wine are in general more likely to vote, period.
  • Among those who drink liquor, Democrats tend to prefer white liquor, while brown liquor drinkers tend to be Republicans.
  • Democrats drink more wine and liquor than Republicans by a factor of 2:1.
  • Political figures most often cited are Nancy Pelosi, who sure enough drinks wine (and owns two wineries), and John Boehner, who true to form drinks bourbon. (Of course, he’s from Cincinnati. Everyone else in Ohio considers Cincinnati an honorary part of Kentucky anyway.)
  • Democrats are the ones who mostly drink champagne. Frenchies.
  • Rum is bi-partisan.

It’s all terribly interesting, it is also all written from the perspective of politics. I think what’s needed is to look at these booze bubbles from a cocktailian perspective, and see how we can make fun of everyone involved.

First, Two Buck Chuck? It’s all on you, Democrats. Conversely, Republicans must live with the shame of being Franzia drinkers. On the liquor side, Republicans must answer for being 40% more likely to drink, um, Seagrams VO. But they win anyway, because anyone who touched Seagram’s gin is almost 95% likely to be a Democrat.

Tequila drinkers are among the least likely to vote, regardless of party, which is unsurprising since voting takes place on Tuesday for the most part, and that is way too close to last Saturday for tequila drinkers to have sobered up enough to get to the polling place.

It is interesting to note the brands where parties go against the general white liquor-Democrat/brown liquor-Republican divide. The only gin on the Republican ledger is the iconic but unaggressive Beefeater. The big whiskey among Democrats is the iconic but unaggressive Jameson.

The only two vodka brands I see on the Republican side are Ketel One and Skyy, both are fairly unpretentious brands offering good value for their mid-range price. (Grey Goose flavored vodkas are almost entirely on the Democratic ledger.)

There are two Martini & Rossi bubbles, both on the Republican side. I’m assuming that at least one of these is vermouth, and likely both. I am happy to infer from this that while most gin is drunk by Democrats, most Martinis (well-made ones at least) are consumed by good, solid Republican stock. This goes double for Manhattans.

To be fair to the Democrats: Jågermeister.

True. And Peppermint Schnapps. And Franzia.

You already said Franzia.

It bears repeating.

On a more serious note, the size of some of these bubbles surprised me. It reminded me that the cocktailian world is still quite divorced from mainstream American drinking, no matter how much closer it has gotten. I’m sure the commercial distillers and distributors deal with this reality every day, but when your drinking life revolves around White Ladies, Whiskey Sours, and Jet Pilots, the fact that Jose Cuervo is the Jupiter of the high-alcohol solar system comes as a shock. I’m not surprised to see Jack Daniels be the big dog on the Republican side, but I was shocked at how much bigger it is than Jim Beam. And man, do people really drink that much Irish Creme in general, and Bailey’s in particular?

Two last takeaways. First, you can tell that NMRPP is a Republican firm in that they highlight as the most committedly Democrat product on the chart a brand called “Smoking Loon”.

Second. Tanqueray is (again) the only liquor among the top 15 brands by political involvement. If the cable networks know what is good for them, expect to see this on Fox or MSNBC any day now…

Angus Winchester Brings theTalking Head to a New Level
Angus Winchester should raise the level of discourse in the entire cable industry. Or at least get them drunk enough to stop being so evil.


  1. Will

    2 January

    Fun post!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  2. LairBob

    2 January


    This doesn’t prove that your politics have _any_ influence on what you drink — any more than it proves that what you drink will somehow influence your political beliefs.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  3. Matt R.

    2 January

    So, looking at the chart, the only brands that any of my friends drink that made that chart are Bacardi (Purple), Tanqueray (Blue), and Beefeater (Red). I drink all three of those too.

    Maybe if the “brown spirits” included things like Ardbeg, Bulleit, Appleton Estate, Hayman’s, and Plymouth, the chart might not have this “Dems drink white spirits” crap all over it.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  4. Matt R.

    2 January

    Hit the button before “or that Repubs drink brown spirits.”

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  5. Rowen

    4 January

    It would be interesting to see if we could improve government through wine and spirits education.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

    • Doug

      5 January

      Yup, convert more Grey Goose drinkers to Maker’s Mark folks, and the world would be a better place, right? 😉

        (Quote)  (Reply)

  6. Rowen

    8 January


    I was really thinking that we could do better than both of those.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

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