Politics and Culture on Facebook in the 2014 Midterm Elections
With the 2014 midterm elections approaching, we decided to take a look at the cultural similarities and differences between people who support Democrats and people who support Republicans. To do this, we looked at everyone who liked the campaign page of any Democrat or Republican running for governor, U.S. Senate or U.S. House of Representatives. We then looked at what other pages those people liked on Facebook and identified the pages that were most differentiating—that is, the pages which were disproportionately liked by the supporters of one party versus the other—and those that were most balanced.
Note: in all of the figures below, the more a page is disproportionately liked by fans of Republican candidates, the farther right the page name appears (precisely indicated by the darker line in the middle). Conversely, the more a page is disproportionately liked by fans of Democratic candidates, the farther left the page name appears. The font size of the name is proportional to the total number of people from the US who liked that page.
Musicians / Bands
Let’s start by looking at the musicians and bands liked by Democratic and Republican supporters.
This figure shows the top 20 bands disproportionately liked by Democrats and Republicans and the top 20 bands that bridge the divide.
Landmarks / Destinations
This figure demonstrates that the most balanced landmark page nationwide is the Jersey Shore.
The author most disproportionately liked by Democrats is poet Maya Angelou, while Republicans disproportionately like Dr. Ben Carson. But it seems everyone can agree on James Patterson.
Here we see “Atlas Shrugged” lean right and “The Great Gatsby” lean left, while the Farmer’s Almanac’s down home wisdom receives a balanced number of likes from the left and the right.
The most balanced shows are the ones that fill TV networks’ prime-time lineups while news commentary shows have more partisan popularity.