Entertainment Favorites Among Democrats and Republicans

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It appears that while the political parties are doing their best to divide the American public, television entertainment is bringing them together. Using E-Score Programs and Celebrity, we’ve uncovered the favorite shows and celebrities among viewers affiliated with the main political parties.

As the race for 2020 heats up with key primaries on the horizon, where can candidates find their potential voters these days?

Top Broadcast Shows

This table captures the percentage of consumers who described a show as “one of my favorites.” For example, 55% of Democrats and 68% of Republicans listed This Is Us as one of their favorite programs.

  • More than half (60%) of the top 20 shows are in common for both parties – medical and procedural dramas are the dominating genres.
  • This represents greater commonality between the parties than we have seen in previous surveys.
  • Dramas with strong and engaging storylines, relationships, characters and emotional involvement are program elements that both parties appreciate while the key for comedies are shows with relatable characters and situations.
  • Where do they differ?  Democrats prefer to watch more light-hearted shows compared to Republicans, hailing 7 comedies as part of their top 20 favorite shows while Republicans only have 3 sitcoms. Only 2 comedy programs crossed parties – American Housewife and The Big Bang Theory.
 

Top Cable/Streaming Shows

  • The favorite shows from cable and streaming for Democrats and Republicans are more diverse in content and genre than broadcast shows due to the wider range of options available.
  • Among Republicans, the list of favorites are mainly drama and reality genres, sprinkled with a few comedies and wrestling. Democrats on the other hand watch fewer reality shows but more comedies (similar to broadcast) followed by dramas and talk shows that are news satire or political opinions.
  • Half of the top 10 favorite shows among Democrats and Republicans are in common, but only represent a quarter of the top 20 shows.
  • Democrats have more shows (8) on their top list coming from streaming media than Republicans – Stranger Things is the only streaming show to appear on the list for Republicans.
 

Favorite Celebrities

  • The favorites between Democrats and Republicans diverge more in the celebrity category. Celebrities on the Democrats’ list are ethnically diverse and balanced among men and women while the list for Republicans are mainly white and 80% men.
  • Only a handful of celebrities appear on both the Democratic and Republican list of favorites: Tom Hanks, Betty White, Carol Burnett, Hugh Jackman, Sandra Bullock and Fred Rogers are all in the top 20 for both parties.
  • Ranked near the top of favorite celebrities among Democrats, fans may be surprised to hear James Earl Jones’ conservative views through his booming voice .
  • While Harrison Ford is often portrayed as someone fighting for justice similar to Republican favorites Clint Eastwood and Tom Selleck, Ford is a life-long Democrat.
  • Compare this list to our previous research on favorite celebrities by political party.

Resources

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6 comments

  1. Very interesting. Lemme see how I stack up against both parties (being an eye-rolling, politics-hating moderate/independent myself.)

    Oh boy…my favorite shows from the first Dem & Repub lists respectively would probably be Mom and Last Man Standing, but neither’s a favorite.
    I like more on the second lists…Game of Thrones (through S8E3 it must be sadly noted), Grace & Frankie, South Park, Ghost Adventures, American Pickers, Diners Drive-Ins & Dives, Mysteries at the Museum, Expedition Unknown, Alaskan Bush People, Orange Is the New Black.

    Hailing from a very conservative family, a lot of that isn’t too surprising. My dad loves those educational reality shows from the Discovery family of channels, and I enjoy most of them too. All the individual series and episodes on the same topics from the past 10-20 years or so blur together, though.
    And I mean, GoT is really the only one I’d count among my top favorite series of all time–maybe early South Park too.

    As for the celebs, I can concur on Steve Martin, Betty White, Steve Irwin, Henry Winkler, Sam Elliott, Tim Allen, Tom Hanks, Tom Selleck, Gary Sinise, Meryl Streep, Helen Mirren, Michael J. Fox, Alex Trebek, Julie Andrews, Clint Eastwood, Carol Burnett, James Earl Jones, Morgan Freeman, Harrison Ford, Fred Rogers…to a lesser degree Chris Hemsworth, Hugh Jackman, Sandra Bullock, Mike Rowe…those lists ain’t too shabby; a lot of them are on my own long lists of favorite actors.

    Of course, I mainly watch cartoons and reruns of older shows. And movies. I’ll watch and think as critically/analytically about the stuff on the preschool channels as about something like GoT, lol.)

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