When researchers Mike Shannon and Will Feltus analyzed 2000,000 Scarborough Research interviews and correlated beer brand preferences with voting patterns, they came to a startling conclusion:
Which beer you drink is a very strong indicator of whether, and how, you’ll vote.
According to results released yesterday, Samuel Adams drinkers are more likely to vote Republican, Heineken drinkers more likely to vote Democratic, and Bud Light drinkers aren’t that likely to vote at all.
Republicans drink to a patriot
The leading choice among high-turnout Republican voters is Samuel Adams. This may sound strange for a beer brewed in America’s bluest state. But the brand’s named after a patriot — and a planner of the original Tea Party to boot. And the brewery’s just a few miles from Romney campaign headquarters.
Other high-turnout Republican favorites include Amstel Light, Rolling Rock, Labatt Blue, Michelob Ultra, Blue Moon, and Miller and Coors Light. Low-turnout Republicans drink less beer overall, and opt for smaller brands, including Keystone, Corona and Busch Light.
High-turnout Democrats aren’t big-time beer drinkers
High-turnout Democrats, too, drink less beer than their Republican counterparts. What they do drink includes Molson, Guinness, Stella Artois, Michelob Light and Miller Genuine Draft.
The far-and-away favorite of low-turnout Democrats is Heineken, which is a corporate sister brand of Amstel Light, a high-turnout Republican favorite (and shares the same importer as Dos Equis, more about which is below).
Other low-turnout Democratic brands include Corona, Budweiser and Budweiser Select.
Virtually all of the middle-of-the-road beers are preferences of low-turnout voters. This stands to reason, because people who are neutral about beer and politics are likely not going to be all that fired up about voting.
The runaway favorite with this group is Bud Light, with much smaller preferences for Miller High Life, Busch, Natural Light and Dos Equis.
The last of these, though, is in danger of losing its bipartisan status.
Watch out for your spokespeople
When Dos Equis’ spokesman, one Jonathan Goldsmith (AKA the Most Interesting Man in the World) hosted a September 18 Obama fundraiser, it provoked a firestorm of angry Facebook comments. Some of the more printable were:
- “Like the beer; don’t like spokesman’s politics. Time to find a new brand.”
- “Since you are supporting Obama you just lost a customer.”
- “Mexican beer for Obama…………bye-bye Dos Equis.”
“Mr. Goldsmith’s opinions and views are strictly his own, and do not represent those of Dos Equis,” said brand importer Heineken USA. But when you have an actor who’s almost inseparable from the character he plays, you have to pay attention to what he does off camera.
It’s “not smart business sense for any brand or company to be in the middle of a political debate,” noted one beer executive from another brand. “[P]eople are going to associate him with the character he plays and that comes with a high degree of risk and I’m sure it’s not making the Heineken people happy.”