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What your first name says about your political leanings

We have all heard about how modern campaigns in the US now depend heavily on data mining, where information about each individual voter is collected to create a profile that enables campaigns to get a pretty good idea of how you will vote, maybe even before you yourself have consciously decided.

I had assumed that the data being used was about where you lived, worked, occupation, purchases and the like. But apparently, even your first name is used. This commercial outfit called Clarity Campaigns that works with Democratic party campaigns uses your first name to gauge how Democratic your leanings are.

I thought that my first name would be so unusual as to be excluded from the database but I was wrong. It turns out that there are 301 registered voters with my name, enough to construct the following profile.

my name data analytics

Of course, since one’s first name is something that others decided for you before you were born, this cannot imply causality, except for a second-or-higher-order effect in that your parents’ choice may reflect their attitudes that may rub off on you.

But its mainly fun and you can see what your own name says about you.

Comments

  1. Chris J says

    Ha. Apparently the database distinguishes between short and long forms of your name. My full first name runs slightly republican, while the short version runs slightly democratic.

  2. busterggi says

    Depending on which version of my name I submit I range from;

    4th most common to 1,471st most common
    have a 45.6 % to 54.7% chance of having a gun in my house (I used to but let my permit elapse in disgust after the Trayvon Martin murder)
    have a 52.4% to 61% chance of attending church regularly – nope, my relatives don’t die often enough for that
    and 43.7% to 55.9% chance of having a degree which I do though its ancient (class of ’76)

    I think its numerical masterbation.

  3. Reginald Selkirk says

    There are 3,735 registered voters named Zbigniew…

    The numbers differ somewhat from mano, but lean in the same direction on all indicators.

    And no, that’s not my name. I just picked one to try out.

  4. Reginald Selkirk says

    There are 31 registered voters named Barack…

    76.5% blue. I guess Obama has the Barack vote sewn up.

  5. mck9 says

    The first name is a clue to ethnicity and sex.

    If you enter a name stereotypically associated with blacks, hispanics, or Jews, you’ll almost certainly get a strong Democratic score, because those groups tend to vote Democratic. The Republican names are generally common, boring, ordinary-looking British Isles type names.

    In my limited experimentation, the names that tended Republican were Republican by only a small margin, probably because even ethnic minorities often adopt those names, thereby diluting their political coloration. The ethnic Democratic names, by contrast, often score quite strongly Democratic.

    Female name generally score more Democratic, reflecting the commonly observed gender gap in American politics. I never came up with a female name that was Republican by more than a tiny sliver.

  6. Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach says

    Got distracted trying to guess which names are most common. I’ve got 1, 3, 4 and 5 so far, can anyone figure out the second most common name?

  7. OverlappingMagisteria says

    Don’t tell the GOP, but here are some interesting results:

    Jesus: 73.8% Democratic
    God: 86% Democratic
    Christ: 54.2% Democratic
    Yahweh: 58.1% Democratic (only 13 people with this name, which is 13 more than I expected)
    Jehovah: 79.8% Democratic
    Messiah: 82.9% Democratic

  8. lurker in a strange land says

    Leviticus is 80.2% Democratic

    I’ve found these but I can’t find #3 and #4
    William #6
    Mary #7
    Richard #8
    Thomas #9
    Joseph#10

  9. Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach says

    Right, I always get the spelling wrong. I know several Jons (short for Jonathan because bible names yay *spits*), but no Johns. Seems weird to me that the stranger looking spelling is more common. James and Robert are 3 and 4.

    The Greek pantheon is pretty thoroughly Democratic as well.

  10. Reginald Selkirk says

    There are 80 registered voters named Darth…

    !!!

    There are 25 registered voters named Yoda…

  11. lurker in a strange land says

    There are 60 registered voters named Vader
    There are 31 registered voters named Lucifer
    There are 12 registered voters named Pluto

    Ok…now I really need to get back to work.

  12. Jared A says

    @6

    The strongest Republican name I can find is Jo Beth at 61% republican.

    The next highest I can find are pretty weak:
    Mary Sue, Sally Jo, and Sally Jane are all at 53%

  13. wtfwhateverd00d says

    49.4% of voters with my name have a gun in their house
    48.8% of voters with my name attend religious services weekly
    51.8% of voters with my name have a college degree

    61.4% of voters with my name are Democrats

    And I am in the majority of each of those partitions. But talk about flipping coins.

  14. says

    It seemed to me that the % with guns must be way too high (43% of Manos?), so I looked it up.

    It seems that some 39% of U.S. households have a gun. That amazes me. (Still seems like the percentages listed are a bit too high though; I’ve yet to find a below average name.)

  15. Jared A says

    @13

    John and Jon are not two different spellings of the same name, but are two different names with different etymology. It should not be that surprising that John is more common than Jonathan in the US, given the major roles of John the Baptist and John the Apostle,–compared to the 2nd fiddle part played by jonathan in 1 Samuel

  16. Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach says

    The new testament was a little too wishy washy for the fundies I grew up with. Not enough smiting. Admittedly, we did get a lot of Revelations, but I didn’t know it who wrote it til much later.

  17. Jared A says

    That does make sense. Another good association that would recommend the name Jonathan to the fire and brimstone types is Jonathan Edwards. While much of his more intellectual stuff is not in favor with today’s fundies, I understand that “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” remains quite popular .

  18. moarscienceplz says

    I checked my name and my two sisters. It got party affiliation and likelihood of attending religious services exactly backwards.

  19. Silentbob says

    As a non-American I had to look up which colour was which. I love that the Republicans are the Reds!

  20. MNb says

    “I love that the Republicans are the Reds!”
    So do I. Would you think this movie is about Republicans?

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082979/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_9

    Apparently the Republicans have murdered some Nazi’s in the past:

    Flag high, ranks closed,
    The S.A. marches with silent solid steps.
    Comrades shot by the red front and reaction
    march in spirit with us in our ranks.

  21. MNb says

    Guess what? 73,8 % of all the American Jesuses vote blue! So do 75,5 % of alle Moseses!

    If you are named God chance to vote blue is even higher: 86 %!

    Take that, Teabaggers.

  22. smrnda says

    @6 Mck9 – I’d agree and kind of expected that, and it was no surprise for me the results I saw, except the gun one, which I’ll get into at the end.

    Well, had to use the middle name. My name wasn’t in the database.

    I got 70% have a college degree
    16% attend religious services
    and 44% have a gun in their home?

    68% Democrats

    The ‘gun in your home’ seems … larger than I’d imagine? I’m sitting here putting in female names (less likely to have gun perhaps and I’m using names less likely to be Standard White Names) and I can’t seem to find one where the gun goes below 40%. Do that many people actually own guns?

  23. Mano Singham says

    @smrnda,

    Polls show that 47% of American homes have guns.

    And the question is about guns in the home not who owns guns. So even if women are less likely to claim actual ownership, all it requires is for one person in their home to possess one to get counted.

  24. DonDueed says

    Every single one of the eight (or nine, if you prefer) planets has at least a few eponymous registered voters, and all of them skew Blue.

  25. smrnda says

    @35 Mano

    I got that (figuring that most women might not own the gun but it’s in the home) but that still seemed outrageously high to me.

    This might just be that I’m from Chicago, and Illinois is probably the least gun-friendly State in the US.

  26. keresthanatos says

    Just an intuition, but the 47% of all homes have guns just doesn’t sit right with firearms death rate…. should be higher than the 30,000 per year. Just saying that it should be approx 45,000-60,000 per year….

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