Political Programming: The Top 10 Shows Among Democrats and Republicans


When attempting to identify a particular group or viewing demographic, E-Score® Programs offers insight into what pulls these viewers in, and why.

In a recent analysis, E-Score identified the top 10 favorite programs among folks who identify themselves as Democrats or Republicans. An analysis of the 20+ attributes we measure for each show and comments by respondents help explain the difference in preference of shows between these two demographic groups.


Looking at the top 10 shows among Democrats and Republicans, E-Score Programs identified several traits among both parties:

  • Democrat – Prefer shows that are sexy, edgy, emotionally involving, ethnically diverse or have strong characters may be more attractive to supporters of Clinton.
  • Republican – Prefer shows that are family-friendly, funny, plot driven or have storylines that involve “good vs. evil” may be more appealing to supporters of Trump.



Source: E-Score® Programs, 2016, Adults 18-54, multiple fielding average

Family Friendly vs. Sexy | Funny vs. Emotionally Involving

Looking at the top 10 shows that are favorites, Republicans prefer broadcast programs that are safer for families and more likely to be described as Family Friendly and Funny while Democrats prefer edgier programming and more often describe their favorite shows as Sexy and Emotionally Involving.  The top 3 favorite shows described as Sexy by Democrats were Game of Thrones, The Haves and the Have Nots, and Suits — all 3 cable series known for their suspenseful and edgy storylines. By contrast, half of the top 10 shows on the Republican list had more than 25% of respondents describing the shows as Family Friendly and air on broadcast television.

Ethnically Diverse

On the Democrats’ list, 3 of the top 10 shows: The Haves and the Have Nots on OWN, How to Get Away with Murder on ABC, and Empire on FOX all have a racially diverse cast and have powerful lead roles for women. This reflects the Democratic viewer who is also typically more diverse, with higher concentration of black and female supporters.  It’s no surprise viewers like to see themselves reflected in the shows they watch.

Good vs. Evil

Republicans enjoy clearer “Good vs. Evil” characters and storylines compared to the Democrats’ favorites.  Republicans show a preference for shows featuring superheroes like The Flash, Arrow and the super intelligent team on Scorpion battling to save the country or the world.  Two procedural programs such as NCIS and Blue Bloods also have the good guys/ bad guys component, as well as, skewing slightly older than some other programs in the list.



Source: E-Score® Programs, 2016, Adults 18-54, multiple fielding average

Program Elements

E-Score’s ability to capture program elements as well as comments about programs revealed that Democrats and Republicans both favor strong characters and storylines.

For example, comments for The Walking Dead on AMC (which appears on the top 10 for both parties) show that Republicans are more likely to mention plot elements or likes for “storylines” on their feedback, citing 32% mentions compared to 24% by Democrats. On the other hand, show characters are mentioned more often in comments by Democrats. (38% mentions vs. 32%)


While television is often regarded as an experience where the viewer can relax and simply watch programs they enjoy, we don’t often realize that the shows or genres they choose can provide valuable information to advertisers and marketers about who they are. By understanding your target — demographic profile, lifestyles, attitudes, etc. and the DNA of specific shows, finding the right programs that will resonate with your consumer target can be greatly increased in today’s fragmented media landscape.

For more information, let E-Score Programs help you identify the environment for advertisers to place their media.

Now that you know which programs Democrats and Republicans enjoy most, click here to check out “What Attributes Are Necessary For a Commander-In-Chief?


Feel free to utilize these infographics in your social shares or other uses. To download, simply click the images and right-click, or pull the full sized images.

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