Political Donations - Check the Name on the Check

October 1, 2012 
Posted by Jay Livingston 
Cross-posted at Sociological Images

Are people’s first names a clue as to which party they support? Chris Wilson at Yahoo  created this nifty interactive graphic from information on contributors of $200 or more. Mouse over a name-circle to see the proportion of Democratic and Republican donors. Or enter a name in the search box. For example, 60% of the 3000 Scotts gave to Republicans.


The most obvious difference is that women (or at least people with women’s names) are all to the Democratic side of the of midpoint. Men are mostly Republican, though several fall to the left of the midpoint. Bob is the farthest left – 61-39 Democrat – though Robert breaks Republican (55-45). Jim and James follow the same pattern, with the 57-43 split going from Democrat to Republican as you go from informal to formal. 
Among the women, Ellen is the most partisan Democrat (81-19), Ashley the least (52-48). If you change the view from numbers of people to amounts donated, the whole chart shifts to the right. Republicans pony up more money. Or to put it another way, the political big spenders break Republican (despite what Foxies like Tucker Carlson claim).


Among the women, Ashley, Heather, Tiffany, and Betty all lean to the right on the money scale. The Democratic Heathers may outnumber their Republican sisters, but the Republican Heathers have more money to donate to politicians. And similarly for just about every name, male or female.

Among the men, the Jonathan is now the most liberal, giving 55% of his money to the Democrats. In fact, Jonathan is the only man to the left of the midpoint. But while Jonathan is a Democrat, John gives 63% to the Republicans. The difference here is probably ethnic/religious. Jonathan (Old Testament, son of Saul) is Jewish. John (the Baptist, New Testament) is Christian. Age may also be a factor.

Younger, thirtysomething names like Heather and Ashley, Tyler and Clayton, lean to the right. So perhaps the youth vote, or at least the youth money, is not as firmly in the Democratic party as we might have thought.

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