We didn’t expect TV content to be as politically charged as everything else in America, but it turns out we were wrong. We studied whether the political party that individuals identify with predicts which popular TV shows they will enjoy.
Take Game of Thrones. Thirty-one percent of Democrats like the show, compared to only 14 percent of Republicans. That’s just about as night and day as the Mother of Dragons and Cersei Lannister. Stranger Things had a similar pattern, with 34 percent of Democrats and 16 percent of Republicans liking the show. The same goes for The Simpsons (37 percent / 24 percent). And NBA basketball (42 percent / 25 percent). From demagorgans to donuts to free throws, Republicans and Democrats really just can’t agree.
In fact, out of nine different types of TV content, we couldn’t find a single one that Republicans liked more than Democrats (when taking into account the margin of error).
Here are the shows that we asked about, along with who watched and liked each show or type of content by political party. (Margin of error +/- four percent).
About the Data
- Thirty-nine percent of Democrats and 41 percent of Republicans like The Big Bang Theory
- Nearly six times more male Democrats like The Good Place than male Republicans
- Democrats and Republicans are the most opinionated on sports
Men and women from both parties have their differences
We have our differences when it comes to politics and TV, and those differences carry over to gender as well. Nearly six times more male Democrats like The Good Place than male Republicans. Three times more female Democrats like Game of Thrones than female Republicans. Female Democrats are also more than twice as likely to enjoy watching basketball and Stranger Things than their Republican counterparts.
Americans come together for sports and The Big Bang Theory
While we might all be divided by the teams that we root for, our study found that the majority of Democrats and Rep enjoy watching football and baseball. More than 60 percent of Democrats and Republicans like watching football or are interested in watching it. When it comes to baseball, around 50 percent of Democrats and Republicans like watching or are interested in watching it.
Democrats and Republicans are the most opinionated about watching sports on TV. Whether they like watching them or not, our study found that football, basketball and baseball are the things on TV that people are most likely to have an opinion on. For each of the three sports, only around one-in-10 people said that they have no opinion on them.
The Big Bang Theory is the TV show that is the most beloved by both Democrats and Republicans. Forty-two percent of Democrats and Republicans either like the show or are interested in watching it. The only thing that both parties agree on more than The Big Bang Theory is good old-fashioned American football.
The last thing that both parties agree on is their distaste for reality TV – well, at least for The Bachelor franchise. No other show was disliked more by either party than The Bachelor/Bachelorette. Less than 10 percent of Democrats and Republicans like or are interested in watching the shows. On the other hand, 74 percent of Democrats and 68 percent of Republicans either don’t like the shows or are not interested in watching them.