What Unites Obama-Trump Swing Voters? Heavy Metal.

 

Trump shooting the horns with West Coast Choppers‘ Jesse James.

Researchers at The Economist wondered if musical preferences factored into political opinions, especially among the millions who voted for Obama in 2012 and Trump in 2016. They discovered that if Trump wants to win independents in 2020, he should strap on a flying-V guitar and start wearing studded leather.

Working with Vivid Seats, they compared county-level musical preferences with election results. It seems Obama-Trump voters just wanna rock. The hard rock/metal genre was the favorite of this group, defined by bands such as Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, AC/DC, Tool, and Iron Maiden, and was calculated by concert ticket sales.

Unsurprisingly, rural areas liked Country and voted GOP, while urban areas preferred Hip Hop and voted Dem. Liking New Age music or generic Rock was also found to be “red”; R&B, Alternative, and Latin music were “blue.”

According to data journalist G. Elliott Morris, “a county’s share of music sales that went to hard rock is the single best predictor of voting for Barack Obama in 2012 and then Donald Trump in 2016.” This remains true even after controlling for demographics.

So, if you think the Democrats will roll to an easy victory in the Rust Belt…

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There are 14 comments.

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  1. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Very interesting. He should use this along with that photo above in a campaign ad.

    • #1
  2. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    Hillary will probably stick with . . .

    • #2
  3. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: It seems Obama-Trump voters just wanna rock. The hard rock/metal genre was the favorite of this group, defined by bands such as Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, AC/DC, Tool, and Iron Maiden, and was calculated by concert ticket sales.

    They voted for Obama and Trump? One way or another, it seems everyone has reason to be ashamed of his fellow headbangers.

    • #3
  4. lowtech redneck Coolidge
    lowtech redneck
    @lowtech redneck

    I’ve always thought ‘Eye of the Beholder’ by Metallica to be a pretty accurate portrayal of modern America; presumably, other Metal fans feel the same way:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38OyrzMzSuY

    • #4
  5. Max Ledoux Admin
    Max Ledoux
    @Max

    Can we get the New York Times to fact check that photo?

    • #5
  6. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    • #6
  7. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: It seems Obama-Trump voters just wanna rock. The hard rock/metal genre was the favorite of this group, defined by bands such as Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, AC/DC, Tool, and Iron Maiden, and was calculated by concert ticket sales.

    They voted for Obama and Trump? One way or another, it seems everyone has reason to be ashamed of his fellow headbangers.

    I’m a Republican and can’t imagine a scenario where I would have voted for Obama. OTOH, Romney not only lost, but turned out to be a perpetual loser, backstabber, and general weak sister. 

    So I voted for him, but I can’t honestly say that voting for Mittens was something I strongly identify with. 

    • #7
  8. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    I’ve been advocating here for a month or more that President Trump’s new walk out music should be Judas Priest. I lean towards “Some Heads are Gonna’ Roll.” As he walks out, he points to the audience for the chorus.

    When he gets to the microphone, he growls:

    “Some heads…” and the audience roars back “Are gonna roll!”

    “Some heads…” “Are Gonna Roll!!”

    “Some heeeeads!” “ARE GONNA ROLL!!!”

    It looks and sounds like this:

     

     

    • #8
  9. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    And, of course Alice Cooper’s classic is right on point:

    • #9
  10. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    TBA (View Comment):
    I’m a Republican and can’t imagine a scenario where I would have voted for Obama.

    I seem to recall a Republican voter I know saying he voted for Obama’s first term because he got caught up in the “first black president” nonsense. The essence of Obama’s campaign was an empty vessel into which people projected whatever they wanted, because “Change” was about as specific as it got.

    • #10
  11. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):
    I’ve been advocating here for a month or more that President Trump’s new walk out music should be Judas Priest.

    Of course, if you are going with Judas Priest there are some on the other side who would suggest this for Trump . . .

    • #11
  12. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Rob Halford’s later work with Fight might better suit current politics. 

    “Insanity, a new beginning…”

    • #12
  13. The Cloaked Gaijin Member
    The Cloaked Gaijin
    @TheCloakedGaijin

    Gene Simmons of Kiss voted for Obama the first time I think to vote for the first black president and apparently regretted it.  He supported George W. Bush, Mitt Romney, Donald Trump, and has helped raise money for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces.

    I think he is also known for being a real jerk at times, but perhaps he has outgrown some of that.

    • #13
  14. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member
    Misthiocracy grudgingly
    @Misthiocracy

    Up here in the Great White North, former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper saw his poll numbers jump a bit when he revealed that he’s an AC/DC fan.

    In rock as in politics, it’s a long way to the top.

    • #14

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