Last month, bloggers had a laugh over presidential primary coverage after CNN/Opinion Research Corp. released a poll that suggests voters’ drinking preferences may also reveal their political preferences.
CNN said beer drinkers are more likely to vote for Sen. John McCain in the presidential election. Wine drinkers told the researchers they were more likely to vote Democrat.
Among registered voters who prefer beer to wine, McCain holds a 53 percent to 46 percent lead compared to Sen. Hillary Clinton. McCain almost tied Sen. Barack Obama among beer drinkers. In a direct contest between Sens. Clinton and Obama vs. McCain, the Democrat senators each won a majority among registered voters who prefer wine to beer.
CNN said of the poll that the apparent political differences really boiled down to gender and class — men are beer drinkers while women prefer wine, as do higher income Americans and college graduates. But you can take the poll results for what they are worth because it only covered 950 registered voters by telephone, with a sampling error of plus or minus 6.5 percent.
In a separate article, “Obama’s beer and wine coalition,” within the Democratic Party, Clinton supporters have been considered the beer drinkers — less educated, working-class voters — while Obama supporters are known as wine drinkers — better educated and more affluent in the party. (Note: more beer and wine stereotypes.) The piece also says Obama has been busy creating a “beer and wine” coalition.
In coverage of the tight contest for president, analysts have broken down primary results by every demographic and now drink preference. Beer, wine and spirits (sadly, spirits drinkers were not polled) are fighting for their own share among consumers and not in the political arena, as covered in Beverage Industry’s 2008 Beer Report.
My guess is that analysts didn’t study the diversity of beer and wine products and drinkers before making the comparison to voting preferences.