Drinking Preferences of Republicans and Democrats

An April blog post by Thomas Edsell of The New York Times illustrated the various ways Republicans and Democrats differ in their brand affiliations. One interesting point of departure may be seen in full flower at any local tavern: Republicans, by and large, are beer drinkers; Democrats favor spirits. Edsell notes the disparity: “Who would have guessed that the most Democratic drink by a long shot is Cognac, or that such lite beers as Amstel Lite, Michelob Ultra, Miller Lite and Sam Adams Light tilt so far to the political right, while Bud, Miller High Life, and Natural Lite are Democratic?”

Who, indeed?  Spirits like Cognac, brandy and tequila (not to mention, malt liquor) overwhelmingly demonstrate a Democrat preference, although whiskey, bourbon and rye have a slight GOP advantage. Falling dead in the center, with no appreciable ideological spread, include Scotch, Bud Light, Guiness and Michelob Light. Of course, it’s not necessarily the case that the ratio of ideological preference means more Dems or Reps drink X; it just means that of people who enjoy a given drink, the politics tends to fall a certain way. For example, I’m a solid Republican but I loves me a good snifter of Cognac.

On the upside, knowing the spread helps — in a very subtle way — to discern clues about people in social settings. Edsell’s post covers a lot of subjects and is worth reading in its entirety.



  1. This subject was covered in podcast 69.
  2. The featured image for this post is a graph within the linked blog post, prepared by William Feltus.

1 thought on “Drinking Preferences of Republicans and Democrats

  1. AccessVegas Reply

    Fascinating stuff! I think you’ll find regional variations which possibly explain the anomaly you found in your local bar.

    I very much lean to the right. (I’m a small business owner and with all due respect to the President, I as in ME took the risk to build my business and I still work 6 days a week at it and I still risk financial hits such as post-9/11 and the current travel recession). Anyway…

    I’m primarily a whiskey guy (both domestic and Canadian) so I fit the chart there. However, I like to mix it up with tequila here and there and I enjoy Heineken and Rolling Rock here and there.

    It was interesting to see the party spirits of rum and tequila on the Dem side. Not exactly a surprise as I’m a Parrothead (Jimmy Buffet fan) and most of his fans seem to lean left. I figured Vodka would be more of a GOP thing. Martinis and such.

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