Republicans prefer Labatt Blue and Canadian Club whisky

Alcohol choice and voting behaviour in the U.S.

by Aaron Hutchins

Most Canadians wouldn’t associate Labatt Blue with U.S. Republican voters. The iconic Labatt bear, the star in advertisements south of the border, is unabashedly Canadian with the stereotypical accent. And yet, those who pick up a can of Blue, according to a recent study, are not only more likely to vote than someone who drinks Budweiser or Corona, they also more likely to vote Republican.

Labatt isn’t the only iconic Canadian beverage spilling over to the right. Those pouring themselves a glass of Canadian Club whisky are even more likely to vote Republican.

These proud Canadian brands may be linked historically to the land of universal health care, but when charted alongside 50 major brands of beer, wine, and spirits, and voter registration and turnout history, Canada’s famous beer and whisky are consumed by those most likely to vote the Democrats out of the White House.

The data has left experts scratching their heads over the results. “When we think of Canadian whisky in the United States, it’s generally an older crowd,” says Lew Bryson, managing editor of Whisky Advocate. “A lot of the time, the older crowd does tend to skew toward regular voting. I’d hesitate to say they’re more regularly Republicans.”

According to the study, however, whisky drinkers are in fact very likely to vote Republican. “A lot of what you see in these data are regional differences,” says Will Feltus, senior vice-president of research for National Media Research Planning and Placement, the Republican consulting agency that analyzed the data. He explains that whisky is more popular in the south, typically a Republican area of the country. And while Jim Beam and Wild Turkey bourbon whisky buyers skew furthest to the Republican spectrum, Canadian Club buyers are more likely to show up and vote.

Democrats tend to be buyers of the clear liquors, such as vodka and gin. “Most of the vodka adds now are focusing on flavours, which largely seems to skew to a younger audience,” Bryson says. Congnac drinkers are most likely to vote Democrat, something Feltus attributes to the liquor’s popularity amongst African-Americans.

The choice of beer and voting behaviour may come down to advertising, says Graeme Newell, president of the emotional marketing company 602 Communications. “What these liquor brands are doing is holding up a mirror to their customers and saying: ‘We’re just like you. We share the same values. We believe the same things.’” For that reason, beer drinkers’ voting behaviours are all over the map.

Bud Light drinkers, meanwhile, don’t sway much politically to either side. They simply have a low voter turnout. “I think it’s because [Bud Light] is the official beer of college campuses,” Feltus says. “Younger people are less likely to vote.”

Why Labatt Blue is more likely to be found in the palms of Republican voters remains largely a mystery to him. Labatt’s owner, major beer conglomerate Anheuser-Busch InBev, has donated slightly more to Democratic candidates and political action committees since a major merger in 2008, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, an independent research group.

“Data like this, some of it is just going to be random noise,” Feltus says. “There is not always a moral to the story.”




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Republicans prefer Labatt Blue and Canadian Club whisky

  1. Labatts is owned by the Belgians and Americans, and Canadian Club is owned by the Japanese.

    • The sky is also blue and air is 80% Nitrogen.

      • Which would mean they aren’t Canadian either.

    • Actually, if you look at the board of directors, it’s clear that InBev is actually a Brazilian company, not Belgian; and CC isn’t owned by the Japanese YET…

      • Or you could look at their listed ownership.

  2. Eeww.Blue is go home beer,when you gotta drink Blue it is time to go home

  3. Clearly Republicans have better taste than Democrats.

    • Clearly, stupie. Nothing says “good taste” like an appreciation for asylum grade piss-water.

      • Enjoy your Bud Lite moron. I think Ricky and Julian are calling you over for some of their swish. I know going to the trailer park is a step up for you, but you should give it a try. It’ll do ya good to get out of your dumpster for an hour or two.

        • Ouch, stupe. Nasty own-goal there.
          Bud Lite is on the side of the graph of those you claim have “good taste”.

      • Never mind, I forgot you’re not old enough to drink.

  4. My politics are all over the map, but it’s pretty clear to me that I drink Republican. (Except for Blue, I hasten to add.)

    • It’s all what you use for mix.
      It’s always best to avoid koolaid.

  5. I’m no liberal, but if the Republicans drink that donkey pi$$, they have lost the last, remaining frayed threads of respect I had for them. Any beer brewed by the major NA breweries is equine urine. So many smaller breweries make such superior products, I can’t lower myself to drinking the major labels anymore.

  6. Dalwhinnie Scotch, or Forty Creek is the way to go……

    • Crown Royal and Glenfiddich, dude.

      • Crown Royal?

        Ugh !
        Glenfiddich is ok……but it’s not my fav.

  7. I prefer micro-brews and usually buy wine from smaller labels, so I don’t know where that puts me, politically speaking. I do take a shot of Jameson now and then so I guess I’m in the high voter intention Democrat quadrant. Can I mention, however, if the Republicans are buying I could be enticed to cross the floor and try some bourbon or even choke down a Labatt’s Blue if that’s all they have on ice.

  8. Any Canadian beer can outshine that panther pee called American beer.

    • The US is full of microbreweries. Every small town you stop in has one. Many of these are excellent. If you’re just talking about what the major brewers put out, it’s all horse pi$$ anyway.

  9. *sigh* Commercially brewed lager beers are brewed pretty much the same way.

    Canadian Club Rye whiskey is pretty much corn whiskey because rye is a very small crop (which is only used for Rye flour and whiskey) and expensive, while corn is extremely cheap.

    So you guys can stop arguing over what is better or worse. Pretty much all commercial whiskey and beer is the same. This is slowly changing, but any arguments about whether bud, or labatt, or molson, or kokanee or Alexander Keith’s or whatever is better just shows that you don’t actually like beer. Saying Canadian Club is better than Jack Daniels just shows that you don’t like whiskey.

    That’s not to say that there is anything wrong with drinking commercial alcohol. The reason they are all the same is that the flavour is very popular. But by arguing over which big conglomerate brewer or distiller is best shows that you don’t really experiment or experience much variety in your drinking habits.

    • Too true. I can’t stomach the majors anymore. Any of it. Microbrews are just so much better, and there is so much selection now.

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