If Facebook “likes” can be trusted as a reliable barometer of taste, Hillary Clinton’s supporters prefer Adele, George Takei, Harry Potter, and The Rachel Maddow Show. Meanwhile, Donald Trump’s supporters are more into Ted Nugent, God’s Not Dead, Adam Sandler, and The Old Farmer’s Almanac. How is this deeply divided nation ever going to agree on such hot-button issues as abortion and immigration if its squabbling citizens cannot even agree on which movies, songs, and TV shows are the best? These and other depressing findings come from an intriguing Wall Street Journal article by Natalie Andrews and Brian McGill called “What You Like Falls On Party Lines.” Andrews and McGill, in turn, took their information directly from Facebook. The popular, scarily powerful social media site keeps close tabs on what its users choose to endorse, it turns out, and the collected data says a lot about America in 2016, most of it bad.
So far, over 9 million people have given Trump the thumbs up, compared to 4.3 million for Clinton. After weeding out those folks who upvoted both candidates, it is possible to determine the distinct pop cultural tastes of Clinton supporters and Trump supporters. Musically, a chasm exists between these two warring factions: “Far and away, the Republican group is more country, while fans of Mrs. Clinton are more pop.” Besides Adele, Clinton voters tend to dig The Beatles, Lady Gaga, and Beyoncé, while Trump trainers prefer Blake Shelton, George Strait, and Jason Aldean. Surprisingly, Eminem is particularly popular among Trump supporters in the Northeast. Maybe it’s the brash outspokenness they admire? That could be true, since Motor City motormouth Nugent “tops the list for people who like Mr. Trump, covering most of the Western U.S. and northern Midwest.”
And the differences go on and on, from one category to the next. As far as celebrities go, Star Trek veteran George Takei is a clear favorite among Democrats across vast swaths of the country. Republicans go for Adam Sandler in the East and John Wayne in the West, with Kirk Cameron popping up as a favorite in the Deep South.
There’s fun to be had here from finding the oddities and exceptions. Why would Trump fans be into Cheech and Chong, for instance? And why are Clinton boosters reading Joel Osteen? Maybe the world isn’t so predictable after all.