Liberal vs. Conservative listening habits

April 21, 2008

A fascinating poll on the Norman Lear Center website about the musical tastes of conservatives and liberals. I would be curious to redo this poll when all the baby boomers are senior citizens.

There are many interesting conclusions one can draw from this information and composers would do well to think long and hard about these implications.

Liberals enjoy a broad range of music, while conservatives dislike most music genres.

* Out of 15 musical genres, conservatives were more likely than the rest of the respondents to listen to only two of them: country and gospel. What genre are they least likely to listen to, compared to the rest of the respondents? Not punk or hip-hop, as you might expect, but world music. World music is also the music genre where we see the greatest difference between conservatives and liberals.
* Conservatives are the least likely group to listen to jazz (34% vs. 44% vs. 53%) and reggae (8% vs. 20% vs. 26%).
* Over 90% of conservatives said they never enjoy reggae, electronic music or Latin music. Over 95% said they never enjoy world music and punk music.
* Liberals, on the other hand, are more likely than other respondents to enjoy almost every music genre, including world, punk, Latin, hip-hop and rap, blues, reggae, electronica, R&B and soul, jazz, folk and traditional music. Rock was the most popular genre among liberals (67%).
* Although all political types claimed they enjoy classical music, moderates were the least enamored with it (55.5% listen to it compared to almost 62% of the rest of respondents). Moderates also showed their distaste for folk & traditional music (72.5% said they don’t listen to it, compared to 62.4% of the rest of the respondents), and they joined conservatives in their distaste for world music (90% said they don’t listen to it, compared to 71% of liberals.)
* Moderates’ favorite music is rock (58%). Conservatives’ favorite music is classical (60%) followed by country (56%) and rock (55%).

Say that one more time please: “Conservatives’ favorite music is classical (60%) followed by country (56%) and rock (55%).” Say what??

(THE ZOGBY/LEAR CENTER SURVEY ON POLITICS AND ENTERTAINMENT.)

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