Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Music has charms....

One of the many controversies around the Donald Trump campaign involves the music at his campaign rallies.  A number of artists, notably the Rolling Stones, have asked him to stop playing their songs.  Of course, Trump made his selections based on what he wanted, not on market research, but a Pew survey from 2009 provides some insight into what his audience might like.  It asked people whether they liked or disliked the following musicians:  Bob Dylan, Madonna, the Grateful Dead, the Rolling Stones, Coldplay, the Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, Jimi Hendrix, Kanye West, Michael Jackson, the Jefferson Airplane, Nirvana, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin.   The favorites among people who said they were conservative or very conservative and that they considered themselves a Republican or leaned Republican (lower numbers mean liked better):

Beatles                  1.64
Elvis Presley         1.66
Frank Sinatra        1.72
Aretha Franklin    1.73

And the least favorite:

Madonna              2.42
Grateful Dead      2.35
Kanye West         2.21
Nirvana                2.20

Among liberal Democrats, the favorites were:

Beatles                    1.34
Aretha Franklin      1.49
Rolling Stones        1.56
Jimi Hendrix           1.59

and the least favorite:

Madonna                 2.06
Grateful Dead         2.02
Kanye West            1.92
Jefferson Airplane  1.80

As you can see from the numbers, liberal Democrats generally liked all of the musicians better, but the rank order was similar among the two groups--the biggest exceptions were Elvis and Frank Sinatra. Those may seem obvious, but if you want something to puzzle over, the Jefferson Airplane is  16th out of 19 among liberal Democrats and 6th among conservative Republicans.

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