Conservative and Liberal First Names

Most Conservative and Liberal Names in America

This image is via BuzzFeed, Here Are The Most Conservative And Liberal Names In America. These are first names. It comes from data about political donors. Anyone who has made more than two campaign contributions since 1980 is on the list. Then names that showed up less than a thousand times were eliminated. So that’s the data.

What is interesting here is that all the most conservative names belong to men and all the most liberal names belong to women. That isn’t shocking. It is well established that women are more liberal than men. But I just wasn’t expecting it to be so overwhelming. CrowdPac, the group that provided the data, has a tool where you can check various names. It’s fun.

But here’s the thing. I tried every name I could think of. I couldn’t find a single female name that wasn’t liberal nor a single male name that wasn’t conservative. I’ve said it before, but it is worth repeating: women really are the better sex.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

4 thoughts on “Conservative and Liberal First Names

    • Thanks for the reminder! I actually did that too. I should have mentioned it, because it’s really interesting. I did about five and they all came up liberal. It’s interesting to look at equivalent names: John vs Juan; Mary vs Maria. I tend to be skeptical of the demographic tidal wave that people talk about, because of how ill-defined “white” is. But this tool actually gives me hope.

  1. Conservative women’s names: Erma and Milly (not very conservative).
    Liberal men’s names: Benito and Josip and Lars (not very liberal)
    Moderately liberal: Jesus and Christian; Quite liberal: Mohammed
    Tied with Natasha: Keesha (0-th liberal, 1122-nd conservative)

    So what’s happening? (1) Figure most of the names apt to occur to us older males are things like Andy, Barbara, Chuck, Donna, Edward, Francis, etc. I.e., old-fashioned “Christian” names, like everyone had when we were growing up. WASP-y names. Traditionally American names — and if you’ve got one of those, you probably grew up in WASP or equivalent Catholic household and have always been conservative. (2) Anybody lacking a traditional name is probably a foreigner or has a no-WASP ethnic background. These folk might be liberal or conservative, but if they donate to conservative causes they’re outnumbered by the traditional crowd, so their names don’t stand out. They only become prominent when donating to liberals. (3) For females, pretty much the same thing. Conservative women are apt to be married and to donate through their husbands. Sure, there are some conservative single women, but they don’t loom large, so their names show up. But liberal single women’s names stand out, just like the names of liberal ethnic males.

    So what you’re seeing here isn’t that women and non-WASP males are reflexively liberal. They cover the spectrum, but the bulk of traditional WASP males tilt conservative and there are enough of them to swamp any other visible trend.

    I hope this doesn’t come as a disappointment.

    • Disappointment? I don’t understand. The list isn’t shocking. The only thing that is surprising is that there are no exceptions. It is well established that women are more likely to be Democrats and men are more likely to be Republicans. The fact that “Natasha” was at the top of the list was somewhat surprising. “Deirdre” is an Irish man, that’s a bit surprising. Neither of these names seem terribly common in this country. But the fact that there are three types of “Megan” on the list is probably just a function of it being a very popular name. But it wasn’t on the Republican list. “Erma” is not very conservative (429th). “Milly” is actually pretty liberal (2.0) — much more so than “Mary” (2.0). As for the men, well, we’ve already discussed Latino names. I think the same thing is going on.

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