Democratic vs. Republican occupations
January 24, 2017 4:49 PM   Subscribe

 
Software engineering shows up as liberal, which is surprising to me because I'm pretty sure the only strong political belief in the industry is that everyone else is an idiot and politics is stupid.
posted by miyabo at 4:55 PM on January 24, 2017 [42 favorites]


Ah, I thought this was going to be about how we're living under Republican occupation. Never mind, carry on.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:58 PM on January 24, 2017 [9 favorites]


also known as "a chart for confirming or busting your stereotypes"
posted by Stewriffic at 5:01 PM on January 24, 2017 [5 favorites]


(but mostly confirming, imo)
posted by Stewriffic at 5:07 PM on January 24, 2017


Most librarians are Democrats.

Suddenly, this website makes sense.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:10 PM on January 24, 2017 [32 favorites]


Only 38% of Democrats are librarians though.
posted by miyabo at 5:16 PM on January 24, 2017 [63 favorites]


Most farmers are Republicans.

Go back 80 years and you could argue that most farmers were socialists.
posted by nathan_teske at 5:17 PM on January 24, 2017 [20 favorites]


This is fascinating. Thank you for sharing it!
posted by Mr. Fig at 5:18 PM on January 24, 2017


"...and urologists right. "

Here we go with the pee thing again...
posted by Hairy Lobster at 5:19 PM on January 24, 2017 [22 favorites]


I really like the layout of how this was done.
posted by liquorice at 5:19 PM on January 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


I prefer to think of farmers as being so deep in the socialist closet, they don't know they're socialist.
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 5:21 PM on January 24, 2017 [31 favorites]



Software engineering shows up as liberal, which is surprising to me because I'm pretty sure the only strong political belief in the industry is that everyone else is an idiot and politics is stupid.


Which means you vote for the people who look like they want to keep the lights on and the water running.

And nowadays that means Democrats.
posted by ocschwar at 5:30 PM on January 24, 2017 [17 favorites]


Go back 80 years and you could argue that most farmers were socialists.

They were populists: some social democratic ideas, but a lot of nativism, too.

I prefer to think of farmers as being so deep in the socialist closet, they don't know they're socialist.

It's that weird thing where people who get a regular government subsidy somehow hate "socialism" when it's for anyone else. See also: Alaskan electoral politics.
posted by kewb at 5:33 PM on January 24, 2017 [28 favorites]


how come I get all the republican yoga instructors
posted by not_on_display at 5:33 PM on January 24, 2017 [13 favorites]


Go back 80 years and you could argue that most farmers were socialists.

Personally I blame HUAC and Lee Atwater, but the real flaw is human nature.

ER doctors and others on the front lines of trauma care can get a nasty misanthropic classist streak from treating a lot of people with criminal records, bad decisions and not much money, which left untreated leads to Republicanism.
posted by Countess Elena at 5:36 PM on January 24, 2017 [33 favorites]


Go back 80 years and you could argue that most farmers were socialists.

80 years of universal basic income for farmers sure changed that!
posted by miyabo at 5:39 PM on January 24, 2017 [18 favorites]


classist and racist, I should add, and misogynist
all of which is as much as to say that caregiver burnout has a lot of dark manifestations in people who believe they're too tough to suffer from it
posted by Countess Elena at 5:39 PM on January 24, 2017 [19 favorites]


The talk show host thing was a surprise. Who are all these Republican talk show hosts? (Are they counting a bunch of daytime people I've never heard of?)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:46 PM on January 24, 2017


I'm guessing they're counting radio talk shows, and there are a LOT of conservatives on radio.
posted by brundlefly at 5:54 PM on January 24, 2017 [6 favorites]


What's the difference between an innkeeper and a motel owner (other than political leanings, you smartasses...)?
posted by radicalawyer at 5:54 PM on January 24, 2017


"Religion" has an interesting breakdown.
posted by brundlefly at 5:55 PM on January 24, 2017


"Law enforcement" was the most surprising to me - pretty much an even split.
posted by Emily's Fist at 6:00 PM on January 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


What's the difference between an innkeeper and a motel owner (other than political leanings, you smartasses...)?

Motel owners run cheap, plain places to sleep along major highways and innkeepers run more upscale vacation lodgings in actual destinations?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:11 PM on January 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


I think this is probably data of the coarsest usable quality, but I was interested to see that in top level categories, Fossil Fuels is an outlier at 89% Republican, then Farming is 72% Republican. Categories that are more Democrat than Farming is Republican:

Social & Environment, Film & Stage Prod., Editorial, Libraries, Mental Health, Academia, Art Management, Writing, Performing Arts, Research, Visual Arts, Media Production, Academic Admin., Social Science, Fitness, Fundraising & Philan., Teaching, Science & Math, Planning & Arch., IT, Legal, Publishing
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 6:19 PM on January 24, 2017


ER doctors and others on the front lines of trauma care can get a nasty misanthropic classist streak from treating a lot of people with criminal records, bad decisions and not much money, which left untreated leads to Republicanism.

Political affiliation among doctors tends to align pretty closely to total compensation.

Anecdotally, as much as there are jaded ED physicians, there are also many, many people who go into emergency medicine (and psych, and infectious disease, and geriatrics, etc) specifically because they feel strongly about serving those patients.
posted by telegraph at 6:24 PM on January 24, 2017 [11 favorites]


The data is from the FEC. There's a lot of weirdness -- only 11 people total listed their occupation as "talk radio host", and every single "environmentalist " seems to be self employed (since that's more of a mission statement than a vocation). Many people make tons of small contributions, which seems like it would skew the data for the smaller occupations. So this is fun but don't take it too seriously.
posted by miyabo at 6:34 PM on January 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


A lot of software engineers have that problem where they think that better software and more capitalism could fix all the world's ills--I know more than a few that lean socialist but also more than a few that lean hard the other direction. But they also tend to run in the direction of atheist or at least not-as-seriously-religious and in favor of things like legal weed, gay marriage, and other things that the more conservative of the two US parties has been very firmly against. There are some but not very many serious conservatives that I've met in this group, and that's in a tech community in Nebraska, where I would think there would at least be some. (And of the ones I've met, they tend to be much lower down the food chain.)

Not that you don't run into the occasional person who's horrible, but it's much different than in, say, accounting, where I was frequently the only even vaguely progressive person in my office, even when living in places that skewed Democrat. There's all kinds of problematic with people who talk about how they love diversity and progress and then don't hire women and minorities, say, but they still talk the talk and vote that direction. This isn't a crowd, in my experience, where you get traction by claiming that science is biased and trying to defund public schools, if nothing else. The Dark Enlightenment crowd who literally want to see the world burn so they can be the kings of the next age are extreme outliers. Dangerous outliers, but still outliers.
posted by Sequence at 7:03 PM on January 24, 2017 [7 favorites]


I'm fascinated that more than half of plumbers are Republicans. I've never MET a Republican plumber! It's a strong union occupation where I live and the guys who aren't in the union don't work, and the union is heavily Democrat and a big part of the turnout operation for elections and a reliable donor.

(I've met a few racist asshole union plumbers, but they still vote reliably Democrat.)

Like, if my plumber told me he was Republican, I'd have a brief moment of total panic as I realized that it's possible I just hired a non-union plumber and as such must be exiled to the Island of Shame. (But he's not Republican, he's a very nice Democrat who loves cats.)

I want to know who the apparently one Republican-voting union organizer in the whole country is.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:35 PM on January 24, 2017 [8 favorites]


Farmers overwhelmingly live in rural areas. That's got to explain as much of their political tendency these days as most other things put together. (Not that, for example, working in an industry constitutionally opposed to environmental regulation isn't a factor.)
posted by brennen at 7:38 PM on January 24, 2017


And now I want to find out if my plumber is republican or democrat. I can't just ask, can I?
posted by The Toad at 7:44 PM on January 24, 2017


"I can't just ask, can I?"

I run into mine at Democrat events, like picnics and fundraisers and canvasses. Much less awkward than being so gauche as to ASK.

I don't actually particularly care if my plumber votes D or R; I just care that my plumber (and electrician, and supermarket) are union. I'm just fascinated that elsewhere there are apparently a lot of Republican plumbers because I don't know any and I know a lot of plumbers from union events!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:57 PM on January 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


Pediatrician (in training) here. It's true. We're a bunch of pinkos. I love it.
posted by saturday_morning at 8:25 PM on January 24, 2017 [7 favorites]


haha yes us web developers are the bluest of IT!
posted by numaner at 8:39 PM on January 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


There are Republican yoga instructors? Jesus. Consider my years as a hippie wasted/deconstructed/transcended/Onionized.
posted by kozad at 9:01 PM on January 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


Motel owners run cheap, plain places to sleep along major highways and innkeepers run more upscale vacation lodgings in actual destinations?

Also innkeepers may give the occasional quest, but that just means your DM is lazy.
posted by Dr Dracator at 9:08 PM on January 24, 2017 [34 favorites]


80 years ago there was a lot more farmers. 40 years ago there was basic change in farm subsidies, it lead to ethanol in gas, high fructose corn syrup and Farm Aid concerts.
posted by ridgerunner at 9:11 PM on January 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


I think the one that was most interesting to me was the Religion category. All of them are blue-leaning, except for Missionary and Catholic Priest. I could read a lot into that.
posted by jferg at 9:19 PM on January 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


lol at that one tragic union organizer who lost a bet and had to make a republican donation
posted by poffin boffin at 9:25 PM on January 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


either that or it's pat lynch
posted by poffin boffin at 9:28 PM on January 24, 2017


What's the difference between an innkeeper and a motel owner (other than political leanings, you smartasses...)?

You turn away just ONE messiah from your place of business and your profession gets ostracized from the religious right for like two thousand years.
posted by dephlogisticated at 9:33 PM on January 24, 2017 [21 favorites]


I want to know who the apparently one Republican-voting union organizer in the whole country is.

Cop union. Prison guard union. Etc.
posted by Jimbob at 10:43 PM on January 24, 2017 [10 favorites]


I'm fascinated that more than half of plumbers are Republicans. I've never MET a Republican plumber!

My plumber cousin proudly voted for Trump, because too many of his co-workers speak Spanish. I get the impression that's pretty much the norm around here (rural western PA). I also know my mom's plumber is a Republican voter (or at least really hated Obama).
posted by dirigibleman at 11:35 PM on January 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


My dad owned a wholesale plumbing and heating business until he retired, then he got his plumbers license. He was a lifelong Republican. As far as I know, none of the many plumbers I knew growing up were union—didn't realize the implication at the time.

My mother was raised by Democrats. When she was little, she assumed FDR was just another uncle, as his framed picture was hung on the wall with other family. She says "the unions ruined this country".

Given that background, I'm kinda surprised there is any pattern whatsoever in the data.


(For the record: this apple didn't fall anywhere near my tree of origin. I've been left-of-liberal since I understood what "left" truly means. Did some work on behalf of unions when I was in grad school and for a couple of years after.)
posted by she's not there at 11:38 PM on January 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


I wonder how gender fits into this. I feel like occupations that may be more female-centered appear to lean towards Democrat.
posted by theappleonatree at 12:28 AM on January 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Episcopal priest. Checks out.

I have very conservative family members who pull down millions a year from farm payments. It's astonishing.
posted by professor plum with a rope at 12:36 AM on January 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


I have not laughed so much at anything as I did at the Sports & Games section.
posted by vbfg at 2:04 AM on January 25, 2017


Most librarians are Democrats.

I remember being in library school & in a collection development class discussing inclusion of titles based on quality versus content, and 99% of the class just naturally assuming that we'd never ban a book. Save for one very angry classmate, fuming and bright red in the back of the room. What struck me then was "girl, you're going to have a long hard career ahead of you if wanting to include the Guinness Book in a reference collection has you close to a heart attack."
posted by librarianamy at 4:23 AM on January 25, 2017 [10 favorites]


There are Republican yoga instructors? Jesus.

Makes sense if you remember a lot of them are also small business owners
posted by dinty_moore at 4:33 AM on January 25, 2017


I really want to meet these democrat firefighters, because they don't exist where I live, and I've never really met many in the 10 years I've been doing this. There's maybe 4 (there maybe more, but they are very quiet about it) of us in the region; I get run out of the dayrooms a lot because I refuse to watch Fox News. I also get tired of hearing horrible, offensive, racist, xenophobic things, but some coworkers will complain that they are oppressed white males (with total sincerity) and they have a right to feel the way they do.

I figure it must be all the union folks (NC is a right-to-work state, and membership in the local chapters of the IAFF doesn't mean left) up north and out west.
posted by sara is disenchanted at 4:49 AM on January 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Not that there aren't people who take the meditative and multicultural parts of yoga seriously, but there's an awful lot of yoga classes that're geared mostly to wealthy white women, sanitized of anything "weird", who just want to do a bunch of stretching in very expensive pants. If your whole income stream is selling fake enlightenment to white people, I mean, that sounds about as Republican as you can get.

Again, not all yoga's like that, but that part of the market definitely exists and I'm not surprised there's at least a few. Lululemon had shopping bags at one point that said "Who is John Galt?" So... yeah.
posted by Sequence at 4:50 AM on January 25, 2017 [10 favorites]


Go back 80 years and you could argue that most farmers were socialists.

Iowas, Kansas and Nebraska, big farming states, voted Republican in 1940 and 1944 when the Democrats (Roosevelt) otherwise ran the table in the other states.
posted by otto42 at 5:38 AM on January 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


My doctor recently commented that within the medical community, folks whose specialties involve lots of human interaction (pediatricians, therapists) lean Democrat while those in specialty fields (brain and spine surgeons) skew Republican. "It's pretty easy to tell--the more highly paid, the more likely to be Republican."
posted by kinnakeet at 6:18 AM on January 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


On motel owners vs. innkeepers:

I find that with close to 100% consistency, Republican affiliation coincides with industry and businesses that turn a profit by obsessive minimizination and cutting of costs vs. improving top line margins. If you run a motel or a fast food restaurant, the only way to make money is if you track every penny, cut pay as much as possible, and defer maintenance.

"Innkeeper" sounds like something at a destination where you are offering a premium product and trying to compete on amenities, not by price.

Their respect approach to government will be similar-- i.e., "I cut expenses to the bone, never pay an employee or spend a dollar more on anything more than I can get away with, and my physical infrastructure is just enough to get by. Why should government and its services be any different?"
posted by deanc at 6:42 AM on January 25, 2017 [8 favorites]


Maybe this is obvious to everyone else and I'm just dense, but what do the white lines on the pie/circle charts indicate? (And why don't they explain it on the site!? bleh!)
posted by Quiscale at 7:44 AM on January 25, 2017


On motel owners vs. innkeepers:

Democratic Senator George McGovern retired to his dream job of keeping an inn.

It was a bit of a bust.

It wasn't enough to change his affiliations, but enough to make him rethink some of his assumptions.
posted by IndigoJones at 7:52 AM on January 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


It's outside the dataset they used, but I'd be super-interested in seeing a breakdown of the "corporate counsel" category in the legal grouping by size of firm -- like, my impression has been that the national and international firms, and even the bigger regionals, tend to be solidly liberal. In contrast, smaller firms in smaller markets tend to be conservative, especially if based out in the suburbs, especially especially if they specialize in serving businesses that are members of suburban Chambers of Commerce.

The big exceptions to my general rule has been immigration lawyers (as seen in the link), and nonprofit lawyers. I've never run into a conservative who specialized in either of those, regardless of the size of their firm.

Also, uh, the firm where I went on a callback after campus interviews during the Dubya era. It was a big regional that was in the process of going national, and the ENTIRE RECEPTION AREA was FUCKING ENCIRCLED by hundreds of tiny little desk-size versions of the American flag. It turned out that their lobbying shop was 98.5% Republican, annnnnnnnnnd instead of sending me to talk to people who went to the same schools I did, or were practicing in the areas that I was interested in, like every other firm that I talked to, they dispatched me basically to talk to every single visible minority or person with a Latinx last name working as partner, associate, or counsel in that office. All four of them.

/lawyer inside baseball
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:56 AM on January 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


Can any native guides shed light on why the Air Force is so much more Republican than either the Army or Navy? That seems odd as an outsider.
posted by N-stoff at 8:12 AM on January 25, 2017


A few of these seem like potentially artifacts of reporting - people who told the FED they're a "Chairman" lean right, "Chairwoman" leans left. But that may not reflect just men-over-here, women-over-there, but identity - if you're a woman Chair, do you call yourself a Chairwoman or a Chairman?

Likewise, I bet there's a lot of people who could choose talk show host _or_ comedian, and so the fact that one leans right and one leans left is maybe self-sorting.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 8:21 AM on January 25, 2017


Can any native guides shed light on why the Air Force is so much more Republican than either the Army or Navy? That seems odd as an outsider.

The Air Force has a much heavier evagenlical Christian presence than other branches. The Air Force Academy itself has been accused of being especially unfriendly to non-evangelicals. Also, the Air Force is the whitest branch of the military.

I also suspect it's a bit of social-positioning. For most available positions, the Air Force is the branch of the military most like a 9-5 job rather than a front-line combat branch. Thus, I am sure there is a contingent that tries to make up for this by being the most militaristic and identify the most strongly with conservative pro-military norms.
posted by deanc at 8:25 AM on January 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


Pleased to see all that blue in Editorial! Also, there appear to be no Republican book publishers.
posted by languagehat at 9:01 AM on January 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Can any native guides shed light on why the Air Force is so much more Republican than either the Army or Navy? That seems odd as an outsider.

The AF is very officer heavy? There's about 1 officer per 5 enlisted in the AF, compared to 1 per 10 enlisted in the Marines.
posted by ridgerunner at 9:32 AM on January 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: a bunch of stretching in very expensive pants
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:39 AM on January 25, 2017


I know of one peanut farmer who is solidly Democratic. Of course, he is also a nuclear engineer, so that may take precedence. One of my most liberal friends on Facebook is a firefighter, and I often wonder how much grief his colleagues give him over his politics.

The idea that doctors' politics skews pretty closely with my experience, although there are a lot of exceptions. I think some ER docs skew liberal because they are left to deal with the failings of our health care system.
posted by TedW at 9:54 AM on January 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


I know of one peanut farmer who is solidly Democratic.

I suspect you actually know two...
posted by Going To Maine at 10:01 AM on January 25, 2017 [9 favorites]


I'm a farmer in the morning and a librarian in the afternoon. Now what?
posted by ikahime at 11:12 AM on January 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Maybe this is obvious to everyone else and I'm just dense, but what do the white lines on the pie/circle charts indicate?

I assume they are just there to mark the boundaries of each section—although the color contrast seems to be sufficient for this purpose.
posted by she's not there at 12:42 PM on January 25, 2017


Yeah I wonder if these charts would show any occupation effects at all if adjusted for gender, race, and urban vs. rural location. I kinda doubt it, but anything that did remain would probably be interesting.
posted by phoenixy at 12:52 PM on January 25, 2017


I know of one peanut farmer who is solidly Democratic.

I suspect you actually know two...


Are you a peanut farmer as well?
posted by TedW at 3:52 PM on January 25, 2017


No, but a President was.
posted by Going To Maine at 4:06 PM on January 25, 2017


Oh, I'm being coy. Jimmy Carter! Jimmy Carter was a peanut farmer.
posted by Going To Maine at 4:07 PM on January 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


And, topically, from The Onion: "You People Made Me Give Up My Peanut Farm Before I Got To Be President"
posted by Going To Maine at 4:11 PM on January 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Lululemon had shopping bags at one point that said "Who is John Galt?"

Wut!??? So my unsubstantiated Lululemon hate has been justified all along...
posted by The Toad at 7:43 PM on January 25, 2017


Lululemon had shopping bags at one point that said "Who is John Galt?"
Wut!??? So my unsubstantiated Lululemon hate has been justified all along...


Also the current iteration has "sunscreen absorbed into the skin might be worse for you than sunshine, get some sunshine" (confession: I walked over and checked because yes their politics is LOL but yes they make good-fitting pants)
posted by kurosawa's pal at 11:09 PM on January 25, 2017


Oh, I'm being coy. Jimmy Carter! Jimmy Carter was a peanut farmer

Oh, he's the same one I was referring to. So I still know of just one.
posted by TedW at 2:53 AM on January 26, 2017


IANAL (librarian) but I work in a library, and I'm too far left for most of my colleagues. Who mostly skew left of center. Our token evangelical conservative retired not too long ago. Of course, I'm the only union member in the library. I do love not being immediately dismissed because of my views, but generally, at some point I get "Oh that Doug." As for republican plumbers, l have plumbers in the family (in Phila no less) who are hard core republican. As far as I know they're union.
posted by evilDoug at 7:39 AM on January 26, 2017


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