There are a lot of factors that influence our political beliefs, including gender, race, level of education, the guidance of our parents, and our susceptibility to fairy tales about ancient nomadic desert Jews, to name but a few. Where we live certainly plays a big role, to the extent that it’s almost considered a given that a person’s zip code will be an accurate predictor of one’s politics.
But what about something harder to pin down like a name? Can we assume anything about a voter named Mike or Jennifer? Aside from the fact that their parents weren’t particularly imaginative, that is. How about more politically-loaded names, famous radicals like, say Che or Barack? What about conservative-sounding names, like Rush, or Dipshit?
A fun tool from the D.C. political consulting firm Clarity Campaign lets us explore the possibilities of what a name means when it comes to politics. The site prompts you to enter a name, which it runs against all of the data on registered voters in the country, and breaks down the results into charts that show the percentage of people with that name that identify as Republican or Democrat, how many other voters have that name, and other data like whether or not they have a gun in the house, attend church weekly, or have a college degree.
They don’t draw any overarching conclusions, themselves, but that doesn’t mean we can’t.
I entered a few names into the list to see what the results were. Some were more surprising than others. For example, 71% of voters named Hitler are Democrats, and 70.5% of Osamas. You guys were right this whole time! On the other hand, only 50.5% of voters named Nugent have a gun in the house. Something doesn’t seem right there. Strangely, there are 21 registered voters named God, 86% of which are Democrats, but only 31% of whom attend church weekly.
Play around with the tool here, and check out some of the results below:
Luke O’Neil is a self-loathing journalist and blogger in Boston whose work has appeared in Esquire, Slate, The New Republic and many others. Follow him on Twitter (@lukeoneil47).
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org