Are fans of country music really more likely to vote Republican, or is that an overly simplistic and outdated cliché? If that’s the kind of question that keeps you awake at night, then you’ll be excited to learn that we may be closer than ever before to an answer, thanks to a new online tool which maps the correlation between liking certain genres of music and leaning in a certain political direction.
Ticket sales company VividSeats has compiled a chart of the top-selling music genres in each county of the United States using concert sale data from 2019, and cross-referenced it with voting behavior from the 2016 presidential election.
The digital map allows you to compare the three most popular genres in each county (country music, rock music, and pop music) with which counties voted for Trump or Clinton in 2016.
The most immediate visible takeaway on the map is that country is by far the most popular genre in red-leaning counties, while pop music is the highest-selling genre in some of the more populous blue coastal areas, including New York and Los Angeles. However, while 90 percent of counties where country music is the most popular voted for Trump, the areas where pop music is most popular are more divided, with 40 counties voting Clinton and 46 voting Trump.
Now, before any scientific method advocates get all up in the comments, it is of course important to note that correlation does not equal causation, and that pop culture tastes should not be taken as the sole indicator (if at all) of the political views of an individual or group of people. And this probably gives us very little useful insight into the outcome of next week’s election day.
Then again, the New York Times is currently trying to identify Trump and Biden supporters by the contents of their fridge, so maybe assumptions and generalizations are just where we’re at in this stage of the discourse.
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