Places with a high density of beer-makers are also more likely to vote Democratic. Do they hold the key to Obama's reelection hopes?
Pundits and political scientists like to come up with novel ways to categorize the electorate and predict elections. But Philadelphia Daily News columnist and beer writer Joe Sixpack (that is his real byline, although I suspect it's not the name on his long-form birth certificate) has bested them all. Sixpack put together a chart of density of breweries in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, color-coding them by whether they voted for Obama (blue) or McCain (red) in 2008. The results are striking (see a larger version here):
As you can see, the correlation between states that went for Obama and states with high density of breweries is incredibly close.
Now, remember the old "wine-track voters vs. beer-track voters" narrative from 2008? According to that idea, Hillary Clinton was the choice of working-class High Life and Coors drinkers, while Obama was the choice of merlot-sipping intellectual poseurs; Democrats worried that might sink Obama with white-working class voters (and it's true, he did poorly among them). This graph doesn't really do anything to disprove that: Beer consumption has no discernible effect on voting, with McCain and Obama splitting the top 10 ale-adoring states.