December 16, 2004
Reps enjoy sex more than Dems?!

This was put together by a friend who wishes to remain anonymous. I can't vouch for all the data but the friend is quite reliable. It's long so I'm putting it below the fold as it were. Enjoy.

If you're like me, you've read countless articles since the November election about what a bunch of ignorant, intolerant, bible-thumping rubes Republicans are. So in case you missed them, I thought I'd share some info from some recent national surveys, along with a few of my typically clever, humorous thoughts.

The first poll is an ABC News survey released in October. The ABC poll found that Republicans were more likely than Democrats to be happy in their personal relationships, and more likely than Democrats to be satisfied with their sex lives. The prudish Republicans are more likely to "wear something sexy" for their partner's benefit, whereas Democrats are more likely to fake orgasms. The election results provide some support for this survey - the 19 states with the highest fertility rates all voted for Bush, so those boring, uncool Republicans must be doing something in the bedroom.

Now comes an interesting survey by Scarborough Research for that right-wing whacko publication, the New York Times. According to the Times, Republicans are more likely than the general population, and Democrats less likely than the general population, to engage in the following activites:
Water Skiing (if you meet a water skier, you can safely assume he's a Republican - Republicans are 90% more likely than the average American to water ski, and Democrats about 70% less likely to water ski than the average American)
Ice Skating (hard to believe, but it turns out that this is one of the most Republican sports in America)
Hunting (this fits the image, but ice skating?)
Downhill skiing
Play a musical instrument (the party of culture, it appears)
golfing (fits another Republican image)
power boating (yet another stereotype fulfilled)
horseback riding
motorcycling (35 years ago, who'd have thought bikers would become a key element of the GOP coalition?)
cross country skiing
bicycling (environmentally friendly Republicans!)
gardening (serene Republicans)
scuba diving
backpacking (tree hugging Bush voters)
working out with weights and exercise equipment
jogging/running (the fitness party)
bowling (Reagan Democrats have become Bush Republicans)
and... SNOW BOARDING!!!! (Hey Dude, Michael Moore is whack, man! 'W' Rules!)

So just what the heck do Democrats do more than Republicans? Democrats are slightly more likely than Republicans to go antiquing (though both are within single digits of the national average), and ever so slightly more likely to go surfing (both Republicans and Democrats surf less than the average American, suggesting that surfers tend to be non-voters. I presume that's why political ads never show candidates surfing). And Democrats play basketball more than Republicans.

Anything else? Well, it turns out that along with basketball, the three activities surveyed that Democrats do significantly more than Republicans are watching TV, gambling, and dancing (and this isn't limited to ballet, folk, or ballroom dancing and the like - it mainly means boogeying in smokey clubs).

Think about that a bit. Virtually any hobby or recreational activity you can name - Republicans do it more than Democrats. The major exceptions are basketball (OK, that's healthy), gambling, watching TV, and dancing (largely in bars) - activities not generally associated with healthy lifestyles. And with all that, Republicans still have time and energy for more satisfying sex lives!

I also reported to you in an earlier post that the states with the highest rates of per capita charitable giving all voted Bush in this election. Now the Times survey shows that Republicans are about 60% more likely than the average American, and Democrats about 25% less likely than the average American, to do volunteer work in the community. So much for the party of compassion. ("Think Globally, Sit on Your Behind Locally").

It also turns out that the car make that is most favored by Republicans vis a vis Democrats is the Porsche. The make most favored by Democrats vis a vis Republicans is the Volvo. In other words, it appears that wealthy Republicans want to have fun on the road, while wealthy Democrats drive in fear of the next accident.

Oh, and what do those homophobic, uncultured, Republicans watch when they do watch TV? Well, not surprisingly, Republicans like "JAG" and "Law & Order." Every Republican, it seems, Loves Raymond, and the spiritually uplifting "Joan of Arcadia" is popular, again playing to type. But it also turns out that one of the most popular shows with Republican voters, especially young Repubilcans, is - get this- "Will & Grace," the show about gay living in New York City. So much for homophobic intolerance on the right. Meanwhile, a popular show with those sophisticated, urbane Democrats is "Judge Judy." Now there's a cleverly written, intellectual tour de force for you. (Dems also like Will & Grace, by the way, even more than Republicans, and they also like "Law & Order" a whole lot. "Judging Amy" is their true fave). Meanwhile, it is true, as you thought, that Republicans tune in Leno, and Democrats tune in Letterman. Presumably though, Republicans are enjoying sex and Leno is ju on in the background.

Finally, Democrat pollster Mark Mellman notes in a recent article in The Hill that unmarried voters are far more likely to vote Democratic than Republican, and divorced people more than those never married. Mellman won't exactly say that the Democrats should encourage divorce, but he does urge Democrats to "mobilize" singles as a cornerstone of future election victories. Interestingly, Mellman notes that the single/married difference does not just mask some other characteristic - after adjusting for age, household income, race, etc. single voters - especially divorced voters - are still far more likely to vote Democratic. Mellman suspects that single, divorced voters' preference for Democrats may be in part because divorce usually results in a decline in household income for both divorced partners. In other words, a divorced person with a household income of $45,000 is more likely to vote Democratic than a married person with a household income of $45,000: Mellman seems to think this is because the divorced person probably has suffered a decline in household income to hit $45,000, but not the married person.

Now, on the surface, this last fits the old Democratic self-image (and, until about the time I reached voting age, truth) of Democrats as the party of those struggling economically, trying hard to make ends meet. But it seems to me that it's a bit different than in the past. Historically, Democrats were the party of the optimistic, the people who may be at the bottom now, but intend to get ahead. Today, however, it seems that Democrats are merely the party of the disgruntled. They are not Democrats because they are optimistic or amibtious about their economic future, but because they are pessimistic and bitter about their economic past and present. They are less about values such as hard work and getting ahead in a fair system, than about complaining, hanging around, watching TV, and hoping someone else will bail them out or they'll hit it lucky at the track or the lottery. They are less lik ely to be happy in their personal lives, less likely to be engaged in active pastimes, less likely to give to charity or volunteer the time in their community. Obviously this is a crude stereotype, but it is far more true than the Democratic intelligentsia, writing all over the web and in newspaper opinion pages about how stupid, angry, and repressed Republicans are, would like to think. Meanwhile, the GOP seems to be the party of happy, active, well-adjusted people involved in their communities. All this is the exact opposite of what the bitter Democratic columnists and pundits keep writing.

Contrary to some reports, the Democratic Party is no where near dead. It has great residual strength, and still controls half of all state legislative seats in the country, more seats in the House of Representatives than the Republicans held at any time between 1955 and 1994, and enough U.S. senators to sustain a filibuster. But the Democrats have lost in consecutive elections in which they expected, with much justification, to win. Why is this? My view is this: I don't think you can win elections in a country as free and prosperous as the U.S. by appealing primarily to the disgruntled and disaffected, and the Democrats' message for the last 4 years has been one of relentless pessimism, carping, fear, and obstructionism. The disconnect between how the Democratic opinion elites see Republican voters (as selfish, ignorant, prudish, Phillistines), and the actual profile of those voters (involved, intelligent, happy, doers) sugge st that the Democrats really don't "get it," and if that is true the Republican ascendency should continue.


P.S. For some of the data mentioned, see;;;

Posted by Robert Lawson at 03:51 PM  ·  TrackBack (33)

The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals would not only load himself with a most unnecessary attention, but assume an authority which could safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it. -Adam Smith

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