Taylor Swift may sing that "the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate," but in actuality, the singer whose latest album 1989 is setting the Interwebs abuzz may actually be universally liked. At least on Facebook.
The social network just released another one of its fascinating studies, and this time, it analyzed the cultural preferences of Democrats and Republicans as we approach the 2014 midterm elections on Nov. 4. Not only are Democrats and Republicans unable to agree on anything policy-related, but they would also probably fight over the remote.
The study comes courtesy of the Facebook Data Science team, who looked at every Facebook user that "Likes" the campaign page of any Democrat or Republican running for governor, U.S. Senate or U.S. House of Representatives. The team then looked at what other pages the users "Like" on Facebook and analyzed which pages were disproportionately "Liked" by supporters of one political party versus the other. They also looked at the Facebook pages that were most balanced among both parties. So let's dig into these results, shall we?
Getting back to Swift here, she is one of the musical artists that is liked as equally often by Democrats and Republicans. This makes a lot of sense because she began her career off in country and then crossed over into the very pop territory that she's currently in. Other artists that are pretty much liked by every political persuasion are Elvis Presley, AC/DC and Metallica.
However, if you looked at the iTunes libraries of a Democrat and a Republican, they would most likely look very different. Democrats prefer popular music overall, with acts like The Beatles, Bob Marley and Michael Jackson skewing left. On the other hand, Republicans love their country, listening to artists such as George Strait, Ted Nugent and Toby Keith.
These political parties also have very different taste in literature. While everyone seems to enjoy the books Catching Fire, The Old Farmer's Almanac and Fix-It and Forget-It, Democrats are more likely to be fans of The Hobbit, The Color Purple and The Great Gatsby, and Republicans really like Heaven is for Real and Atlas Shrugged. No surprise there.
It gets even more interesting with the other categories the Facebook Data Science team looked at. The aforementioned cultural preferences for Democrats and Republicans were more widely spread out than those for landmarks/destinations, authors and TV shows, which are more evenly balanced or skew to the left. For instance, Democrats disproportionately "Like" author pages on Facebook, with Maya Angelou and Neil deGrasse Tyson among their favorites. Author Dr. Ben Carson, who is thought to be on the Republican ticket for president in 2016, is most disproportionately "Liked" by Republicans. But we can all agree that James Patterson books are good.
In terms of landmarks and destinations, the Jersey Shore is apparently liked by both Democrats and Republicans, while Democrats are generally more likely to "Like" East Coast sites, such as New York's Empire State Building, and Republicans enjoy visiting Southern landmarks like George Washington's Mount Vernon in Virginia.
Finally, Democrats mostly like well-known liberal news shows like The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report and The Rachel Maddow Show, while Republicans watch Duck Dynasty. Considering star Phil Robertson's uber-conservative views, this isn't shocking at all. But if you really want to bring people together, just turn on Two and a Half Men.
Head over to Facebook to see all of the very cool results.