In the waning days of October, the New York Times published an online quiz for its readers to guess whether or not someone was a Trump voter based on the contents of their fridge. This week, the Grey Lady is at it again — “it” being quirky, off-beat election news — with a new data visualization that is about as silly as it is informative.
For the first time, the publication decided to use existing polling data they gathered over the past few months with Siena College of likely voters and their preferences, and then they sorted out voting preferences by the first name of all of the voters they polled. As a result, they’ve come up with the voting preferences of people with the 102 most common first names in America — which means that from Richard to Karen to Elizabeth to Lisa, the New York Times has data on who they were most likely to vote for — and it’s super interesting.
The sample sizes, it should be noted, are quite small. The researchers only included the names that had at least 30 respondents, so many names were left out, and not that much should be made out of the data itself. But it’s still fun.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, 68% of voters named Donald overwhelmingly voted for Trump — only 19% of dudes named Donald voted for Biden. Richard’s, Jason’s, Ronald’s, Janet’s, and Brian’s were all more likely to vote for Trump, as well, while Peter’s were about just as likely to vote for Trump as they were Biden (46 v. 47 percent, respectively.) Susan’s across America preferred Biden, as did Sharon’s, Carol’s, Elizabeth’s, Melissa’s, Ann’s, Laura’s, and Samuel’s. People name Stephanie and Nicole preferred Joe Biden by a margin of 14 percentage points, but Karen’s, it turns out, prefers Trump by 20 percentage points, or a margin of 40 percent for, 60 percent against. Sarah’s and Patricks are the most anti-Trump with margins above 40 percent in the “we like Biden” category.
— Eli Yokley (@eyokley) November 2, 2020
The data is fun to look at — and it’s interesting to wonder why people named Linda, for example, would prefer Trump more than people named Raymond or Justin. It’s possible that these names, which are the most popular in the country, might also have a generation gap between them, as it so happens that Boomers tend to be Trump’s largest, and most immovable support group in this election. Or it could be a total fluke that means nothing. Play around with the tool and have fun with it. After all, it might be the most fun you have in regards to the election for a few months.