April 13, 2010

"The Politics of Sports Fans"

My new column at Taki's Magazine uses Tiger's loss to Phil at Augusta to introduce new data on The Politics of Sports Fans. It features a spectacular graph (which I found at statistician Andrew Gelman's blog) from a survey of 218,000 American adults' preferences in spectator sports, politics, and civic-participation. NASCAR fans are famously Republican, but which two sports have even more conservative fan bases? Which spectator sport has the most liberal fans? Which sport's fans are most likely to vote? Which least likely?

Old stereotypes are validated and new stereotypes are revealed, which is always fun.

Read it there and comment upon it here.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

55 comments:

RWF said...

So the two bluest sports are the WNBA and WWE.

Doesn't that just sum up the Deomcratic base?- angry lesbians and idiots who can't tell reality from make believe.

Anonymous said...

You don't list any of the shooting sports - the aficionados of which tend to be strongly conservative. Perhaps they are not considered "spectator" sports? It is worth recalling that in the late nineteenth century, the long-range rifle target matches at Creedmoor were avidly followed by the public, and drew as much coverage in daily newspapers' sports pages as did baseball. If such activities were still covered by the press in similar detail, who is to say they wouldn't still be as popular?

I'm rather surprised that boxing is not listed. It was once very popular, and I have no idea of how popular it remains - probably less so than in its heyday. I expect there is a considerable difference between the politics of its black fans and those of its fans who are white. It certainly has more title to the designation of sport than does professional wrestling. I'm reminded of the late editor of my home town paper, who once was confronted by a subscriber wanting to know why pro wrestling was not covered in its sports pages. He responded that as long as he edited the paper, any coverage of pro wrestling would have to be published in its theater section.

Anonymous said...

I wish conservative sports fans were as passionate about our civic prospects as they were about their favorite team's draft or recruiting prospects.

Conservatives are too reactionary in that they wait until the left has yet another assault underway or formally submitted in a bill before getting riled up to oppose it. We need to make -them- play defense first and not us.

Anonymous said...

Two points I would add:
1: Would Tiger have been destroyed by the press if:
a: He was a professed Democrat?
b: He would have accepted the golf date with Obama?
2: Extending this further, how would Jay Leno (not a professed Democrat; seems sympathetic to Republican views or is perceived to be) have made out if he were making out with his staff and with interns, or for that matter how does any Democrat make out in a scandalous situation versus a Republican?
Robert B

stari_momak said...

Isn't 'new stereotype' an oxymoron?

OhioStater said...

College football is definitely dominated by red states. In the last 10 years, how many BCS champions came from Bush states and how many from Kerry states? USC is an anomaly but parts of SoCal such as Orange County are very conservative.

One oddity of golf is the most exclusive golf clubs are found in DC, Chicago, San Francisco, and Boston. All of them in liberal areas. Some of these places won't let women enter at any time of the day. I think Chicago has half of all full time all male, no women guests, golf clubs.

AlphaOmega said...

I watched Tiger's interview after he finished his round, and the transformation is complete. He's now the angry black man and he will be set aside.

The chairman of Augusta in fewer words suggested the tournament would ban Woods if his behavior didn't change. Bravo, Tiger needs a lesson.

RandyB said...

So high turnout liberals don't like sports. Those would be the humanities professors who can't even swing a golf club.

Truth said...

Ronduck, Josh, Jody, Steve, Whiskey, Kudzu Bob, Mr. Anon, Michael T. Golden, Victoria, et all,

You "intellectuals" like sitting on the fence and are afraid to get your hands dirty, well, it's about to go down, and I have one question to ask:

Which side is you on, FOOL?!?!?!

Truth said...

"College football is definitely dominated by red states. In the last 10 years, how many BCS champions came from Bush states and how many from Kerry states?"

Of course they're also dominated by states with a lot of blacks, but we all know the red-blue thing is more significant in football.

Anonymous said...

"One oddity of golf is the most exclusive golf clubs are found in DC, Chicago, San Francisco, and Boston. All of them in liberal areas. Some of these places won't let women enter at any time of the day. I think Chicago has half of all full time all male, no women guests, golf clubs."

Of course. Libs are hypocrites. They love their intra-liberal status games.

Richard Hoste said...

I'm not surprised that WWE fans don't vote, but they're really that Democratic? I know there are a lot of NAMs who watch, but the whites are overwhelmingly low class and male. The storylines, role of women and racial stereotypes are also often very politically incorrect.

Jokah Macpherson said...

The biggest surprise to me was that WWE fans leaned so far, albeit inactively, to the Democratic party. Vince McMahon is known to have somewhat conservative views and his wife is running for Chris Dodd's senate seat as a Republican.

Fred said...

"Doesn't that just sum up the Deomcratic base?- angry lesbians and idiots who can't tell reality from make believe."

What percentage of pro wrestling fans do you think don't know that the exhibitions are scripted? I'm going to guess about 0%.

"Of course they're also dominated by states with a lot of blacks"

You don't need to have a lot of blacks in a state to have a lot of blacks on your college football team. It's not as if big time teams don't recruit nationally.

Anonymous said...

Writer Kurt Andersen (Spy Magazine, Studio 360) called it "Maybe the most powerfully explanatory American political science graph ever" on Twitter

Bill said...

That's an awesome graphic. The accompanying one for TV formats is also really interesting. I would have though that documentary viewers would skew way dem, but they are right in the middle. Is this because reps watch history channel and dems watch pbs, so they kind of even out?

And why does local news skew D while national news skews R? Crazy. Is it a gender gap thing? Women are more interested in local news and more D? My impression is that local newscasters are way less D skewed than are national, overall. It seems like national newscasters are really screwing the pooch, serving-their-audience-wise.

Anonymous said...

Like the previous poster mentioned, this graph makes sense except the leftness of WWE fans. Sure NAMs are into WWE, but the overwhelming majority of the fans in the audience are prole, beer-drinking white males. My explanation: maybe only the dumbest of the dumb white males watch WWE, hence they're jobless, and hence they tend to vote Democrat? Still doesn't add up....

Anonymous said...

The truly national sports - football and baseball - are pretty much in the center, as they should be, befitting their status. The graph just confirms that golf - and the nhl - are essentially narrow white diversions. No surprises here!

afafasfasfasf said...

"Generalizing massively, sports skew Republican and entertainment Democratic. Which is more useful to control for propagandizing for your Party: the games or the stories?"

Stories are very effective but people look to sports for heroes.

BUT, even if there are more Republican sports fans than Democratic ones, the fact remains that the majority of top athletes happen to be black and Democratic. Just look at NFL and NBA. And even baseball, with all them Dominicans. And a lot of the black athletes marry white women or have tons of white groupies, so the overall social message is 'white girls go with black guys' and 'move aside white boy and make way for the black guy to take your girl'.

Plus, liberal Jews own many of the sports franchises. Liberal Jews also own most of the media that broadcasts sports games. So, much of the revenues from sports go to the Democrats.
And a lot of top writers and authors for boxing are also Jewish liberals. Consider all the books on boxing that idolize Ali and Jack Johnson and the like.

So, white conservatives lose with both entertainment and sports.

PS. Suprised that monster cars and WWF has more Democratic fans. I guess they must be blacks and Hispanics(or working class whites) cuz I don't know any educated white liberal who's into that sort of thing.

fdfadfasdf said...

"College football is definitely dominated by red states. In the last 10 years, how many BCS champions came from Bush states and how many from Kerry states? USC is an anomaly but parts of SoCal such as Orange County are very conservative."

But many of the top athletes seem to be Negroes.

afasfasfdsf said...

Hey, what about the gay games?

Anonymous said...

I'm rather surprised that boxing is not listed. It was once very popular, and I have no idea of how popular it remains - probably less so than in its heyday. I expect there is a considerable difference between the politics of its black fans and those of its fans who are white.

Boxing is heavily Mexican today. So it's gotta be Democrat.

Anonymous said...

The WWE has lost many fans to MMA. The WWE has added more of a Ringling Brothers element to its entertainment with acrobatic moves, plotlines, scantily-clad women fighting, and character-emphasis. The WWE characters are marketed as much as "live-action figures" who happen to be alive as men engaged in a wrestling demonstration.

Peter A said...

"Libs are hypocrites. They love their intra-liberal status games."

No. You're a moron. There are actually plenty of Republicans in Boston, SF, NY, Chicago, etc. And that, for the most part, is who is playing golf.

Ariston said...

@Richard: And low class white males who don't vote typically lean Democratic, especially on economic issues.

ironrailsironweights said...

I'm quite surprised to see the NHL so far onto the Republican side of the spectrum. Its fan base is concentrated in the blue states, and the sport's rough-and-tumble image also seems more Democratic than Republican.

As for the prior comment on boxing, it most likely trends Democratic because its fan base (what's left of it) is heavily Hispanic.

Peter

Mr. Anon said...

The democratic skewing of WWE fans was surprising. That's an interesting fact to cast into the face of any liberal who starts talking about conservatives and their supposed low IQs.

Anonymous said...

Steve - start a thread about the JB Carlson murder scheme.

Whiskey said...

Steve, the games vs. stories are just reflections of a gender divide. Looking at the Entertainment graph, the stuff that appeals to men, is all Red/Republican -- News, sports, adventure reality.

A commenter on OneSTVD's site, who I don't remember, said Wrestling is basically soap operas for men. With different stuff -- face to face showdowns, instead of the scheming, sex, status, and material goods typical of female soap operas.

Conservatives are just another name for "men" and the gender issues are inseperable from the political ones. What are the most Democratic? Daytime talk shows like Oprah! Even Science Fiction is now very female/feminist, as anyone looking at "SyFy" (they changed their name to make more Stephanie Meyer fans amenable to viewing it) and the programming (angsty soaps about who screws whom and the uselessness of everything ala Battlestar Galactica).

[Leno is a "moderate Dem" who only seems conservative next to Nancy Pelosi and Obama. Letterman, like bad boy Charlie Sheen, paid no price by his female followers.]

Tiger's fans were men. They generally, don't forgive very fast, and guys who fall down have to prove themselves. Women, however, will give any big shot big man a break based on how big they are. Charlie Sheen puts a knife to his wife's throat, allegedly, on Christmas Day, but ratings stay high or higher. Because sitcoms are about 80% female audience. [WWE is likely pushed left by the influence of highly political Black fans.]

As I've written ad-nauseum, entertainment has shifted to women, decisively, and won't change in TV, Movies, or Newspapers, any time soon. It will take new forms, in new areas, like streaming media via ad-supported stuff on mobile phones, laptops, internet-enabled TVs, etc. to break the hold on female-majority TV.

DeadlineHollywoodDaily.com had a story on Ed Bernero, showrunner of Criminal Minds, on how the Crime-time shows had a majority female audience and the network execs were almost exclusively female below the top guy. TelevisionWithoutPity.com, the female hangout for commenters on TV (but I repeat myself) went nuts on that truthful statement. Women are hard-left and will be hard left as long as their economic interests are not aligned with men, directly.

Anonymous said...

"Why did the golfer's fans turn on him?"

Gee, I must have missed that. The cheering for Tiger might have toned down a little bit, but not much.

Anonymous said...

WWE fans leaning Democrat is only surprising if you believe the media lie that white trailer trash vote Republican.

rob said...

Professional wrestling is not a sport, it's tv entertainment. That's why fans are more like tv watchers than like sports fans. Pro-wrestlers are athletic, but so are ballet dancers, and that isn't a sport either.

The storylines, role of women and racial stereotypes [in pro wrestling] are also often very politically incorrect.

They're not PC, but do they offend the audience? I doubt blacks watching WWE get offended when all the black wrestlers are aggressive, horny, and have a sense of rythm. the polyethnic lumpenproletariate who would watch WWE is a solid Democrat constituency. The whites see more successful whites vote Republican, feel resentful, and vote for Democrats. If they vote, or even know what an election is.

Idiotic Sensation said...

"One oddity of golf is the most exclusive golf clubs are found in DC, Chicago, San Francisco, and Boston. All of them in liberal areas."

C'mon. Let's be intelligent. There are no "red" or "blue" states. All of the states and -OMG - even the cities - even the neighborhoods in each city - are various shades of purple.

It's a purple country. Deal with it.

Geez the red state ~ blue state media invention has got to be the most successful elitist divide & conquer strategy of the modern age.

Is that all they have to do? Stand up there in front of a map of the U.S.A. and paint the states two different colors on live telebigeon and BOOM they fracture the country into...

US vs. THEM.

Even if a state goes 50.0001% to 49.9999% in the election the state gets painted only one color or the other. It's either red or blue! Chooose a siiide puuuuuuunk!

Anonymous said...

Funny Whiskey post on this thread. Whiskey dude you remind me of Adam Gadahn aka Adam Pearlman aka Azzam the American aka Azzam al-Amriki. Your story has really never changed since that old armageddon "speedboats attacking up the coasts" comment from 2007 or whenever it was..

Anonymous said...

"College football is definitely dominated by red states. In the last 10 years, how many BCS champions came from Bush states and how many from Kerry states?"

The one major exception is USC, but USC is a very conservative school... school of choice for kids from Orange County.

Truth said...

"You don't need to have a lot of blacks in a state to have a lot of blacks on your college football team. It's not as if big time teams don't recruit nationally."

You need to be a good, high profile team to recruit blacks from other parts of the country, and the way you become a good, high-profile team is to win games with local guys.

Simon said...

Underclass whites and marginal whites certainly vote Democrat, if they vote. Republicans often seem actively hostile to the lowest-paid workers, unless they're Hispanic, so that's hardly surprising.

Anonymous said...

Which is more useful to control for propagandizing for your Party: the games or the stories?

People hear are ignoring Steve's salient question out of all of this. And yet, while I warrant most commenters here, and Steve himself, would say the latter, bear in mind that one of the best media executive-turned-political strongmen in today's world, Silvio Berlusconi, argued the former. There will be a great book written someday about how he harnessed the energies of soccer fan clubs into party organizing cells.

Steve Sailer said...

re: Berlusconi

Good point.

Peter A said...

America has no equivalent to Italy's soccer fan clubs. And the reality is Berlusconi controls the entertainment in Italy as well as the sports. I think most observers of Italian politics would say that's how he's really propagated his party, not through sports.

The funny thing about Fox is that while the news division is basically an arm of the GOP, the entertainment side still skews left - popular shows on Fox or FX like the Simpsons and Family Guy tend to reinforce the basic Democratic messages of racial/sexual tolerance, deemphasis of religion, distrust of corporations, etc.

Curvaceous Carbon-based Life Form said...

"It's a purple country. Deal with it."

Us red states are talking secession.

So what do libs do, who have displayed such sniffing contempt for us, lo, these many years? Insist we love them! Everybody's purple! (and the ever-contemptuous:) Deal with it!

No. We've been dealing with you long enough. We want a divorce!

Jay said...

Another great Sailerism:

"Why did the golfer’s fans turn on him, while the basketball player remains a face?

Granted, Jordan never got caught in quite so embarrassing an incident."

Because what Woods did wasn't an incident. I suspect that there's much more going on than even the National Enquirer (the best newspaper in the country) has told us. Woods was beating up a variety of women, engaging in all kinds of kinky sex. It wasn't one illicit affair, or a gambling incident.

That might have something to do with the difference in reaction.

Alticor said...

I'm surprised LPGA skews that far right, because it's really massively lesbian in its fan base. Of course, I'm also surprised lesbians skew as far left as they do-since so many lesbians are discreet and, not needing access to abortions or AIDS public health care, have little reason to be militantly Democratic.

In practice, very few social conservative GOPs care all that much about lesbianism as long as it isn't really militant, while male homosexuality really bothers them even when it isn't so militant.

Toadal said...

I would have thought the Nickelodeon bubble would be further left and far smaller. Producer, Allan Goodman, attempted to normalize America's criminal class this year by inviting former Crip gang member, ex-felon, and celebrity pimp, Snoop Dogg to Nickelodeon's Kids Choice Awards.

"Hey, allow me to bring this pimp into your home to meet your daughter!"

Perhaps you remember Snoop Dogg in 2006 Rolling Stone magazine cover article that named him America's Most Lovable Pimp. He galvanized the MTV audience during an award ceremony in 2006 when he brought onstage two submissive women on leashes.

An interview excerpt:
"I was flexin' my pimp muscle and lettin' people see how real pimps do it," he says. "If you really a pimp, you should be able to get two bitches to walk on a leash with you down the red carpet and be yo ho's for the night. And when I did it, it really was pimpin'." I had thought it was all for show, metaphorical pimpin', but Snoop says it really was pimpin' with so much feeling, I can't help but think that he was a professional pimp. Indeed, for two years, he was.

And if you were wondering how someone with as long a rap sheet as Snoop Dogg’s could be featured on a children's program, its simple; Mr. Dogg has signed a multi-rights deal with Nickelodeon's parent, MTV, to distribute, market, and promote his albums.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said

"You don't list any of the shooting sports - the aficionados of which tend to be strongly conservative. Perhaps they are not considered "spectator" sports? It is worth recalling that in the late nineteenth century, the long-range rifle target matches at Creedmoor were avidly followed by the public, and drew as much coverage in daily newspapers' sports pages as did baseball"

you're not STILL following the long-range rifle target matches at Creedmoor???? WTF is wrong with you?

When did you lose your passion for long-range rifle shooting??

That's just sad.

Dan in DC

Jim O said...

"...the majority of top athletes happen to be black..."
That reminds me of George Carlin's line: where's the happenstance?

Svigor said...

A commenter on OneSTVD's site, who I don't remember, said Wrestling is basically soap operas for men.

This observation is so old it's got to be a household phrase by now. I was saying this in high school, and I don't think I made it up.

josh said...

Low turnout Dems = wrestling!! ha ha ha! The morons!

SFG said...

Humanities professors? You'd be surprised how many of us science nerds hate sports too. All those years of being shoved in the locker take their toll.

My general impression is that nerds stand to the right of artsy types and to the left of jocks. Anyone care to comment?

Whiskey said...

Anon -- You might have missed the pirates of Somalia. Now even the Chinese navy has had to send a couple of destroyers out, motherships venture out nearly 1200 miles into the deep ocean, use speedboats, and hijack ships, hold crew, ship, and cargo for ransom. See here .

Given China's considerable raw material investments in places like Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya, this pretty much sets the stage for an ugly confrontation. Meanwhile, refugees continue to pour into Europe from Africa. Doesn't look tenable to me -- poor people right next to not very many or formidable rich people.
--------------
That being said, Steve's got it wrong.

Sports skews so "Republican" because it is the only thing left on TV not completely repulsive to men. Every other aspect has been pushed hard female, and so hard left.

Really, it is striking to compare (which I will do myself when I get a chance) how much more "male" the TV seasons were even up through the late 1990's, compared to today. For example, Married With Children was incredibly male, ridiculing women, kids, the notion of marriage, in a way that would be impossible in anything but South Park or Family Guy today.

Wikipedia has the TV seasons of the broadcast networks year by year, it is fascinating to trace how little male it became over the years.

Look at it, and you see WHY Steve's wrong. Men (Republicans) didn't just stupidly channel all their energy into sports. Rather, it and video games are the only male entertainment left. Period.

tvoh said...

"I regard golf as an expensive way of playing marbles" Gilbert K. Chesterton

Now curling, that's a sport. Very red.

Anonymous said...

I'm rather surprised that boxing is not listed. It was once very popular, and I have no idea of how popular it remains

Not so many years ago boxing feautered a lot of black men doing well. Now there seem to be a of white men winning the titles.

Im sure this and the apparent loss of interest by the media are completely unrelated.

Truth said...

"Not so many years ago boxing feautered a lot of black men doing well. Now there seem to be a of white men winning the titles."

Black men from where, Sierra Leone? white guys from where, Illinois?

Im sure this and the apparent loss of interest by the media are completely unrelated.

We have that much in common.

BamaGirl said...

"My general impression is that nerds stand to the right of artsy types and to the left of jocks. Anyone care to comment?"

Generally correct, but in my experience, many nerds tend to be politically apathetic. At least the science/math oriented ones.

Anonymous said...

Truth - basketball seems to do quite well importing guys form out of the way places in Africa (not Illinois) and getting the media to pay attention.

I liked the photo comment btw, good one, made me laugh.