Republicans Watch Golf on TV, Democrats Prefer NBA

You may never have considered the politics of sports, but it turns out there's even an ideological divide in what televised competitions members of each Party watch.

For instance, Republicans like to watch golf while Democrats prefer professional basketball.

Maybe less obvious, dedicated sports watchers are far more likely to vote Republican than Democrat.

Such was reported by the National Journal Wednesday:

GOPers are most likely to watch the PGA Tour, college football and NASCAR, according to the study. But if GOP ad buyers want to reach more frequent voters, they should focus on the PGA; golf fans told researchers they were much more likely to vote than NASCAR fans say they are. Meanwhile, Dems hold the largest advantages among basketball fans, both those who watch the NBA and the WNBA. And fans of World Wrestling Entertainment are also much more likely to favor Dems -- if they vote. Wrestling fans are less likely to cast ballots than any other sports fans.

Overall, GOPers hold advantages among die-hard fans of most sports, albeit by slimmer margins than golf fans. Those who watch Major League Baseball and the NFL are only slightly more conservative than the average voter, while those who watch college basketball are about 5% more likely to vote with the GOP.

Among the major sports, college football fans say they are most likely to vote, followed closely by MLB aficianados. NFL fans rate with NASCAR fans as less likely voters. Fans of extreme sports, the WWE, monster trucks and soccer -- all of whom tend to be younger -- are the least likely to vote, according to the survey.

Fascinating, but also important from an advertising standpoint:

Ad buyers should focus on sports programming, according to the analysis. That's because sports fans are most likely to view events live instead of on a DVR machine, meaning they don't skip the ads.

Dems tend to watch more TV than GOPers, and they dominate most kinds of programming. That means GOP ad buyers have fewer choices, and sports offer the best opportunity to reach their voters.

This data was collected by National Media Inc., a GOP firm which "analyzed survey results from a total of 218K interviews between Aug. '08 and Sept. '09. The polling was conducted by Scarborough USA, a joint project of Nielsen and Arbitron, the 2 top ratings agencies in the country."

Exit question: If Dems do watch more TV than GOPers, is that BECAUSE the programming is liberally biased, or do producers skew the content to fit the viewership?

Noel Sheppard's picture