Beer vs. Wine Vote

The 2008 presidential election will come down to beer drinkers vs. wine drinkers, if a silly new poll is to be believed.

Beer vs. Wine Vote Beer drinkers appear more likely to vote for Sen. John McCain in November, while those who enjoy wine say they’re more likely to vote Democratic in the fall. Among registered voters who prefer beer to wine, McCain has a 53 percent-46 percent edge over Sen. Hillary Clinton while McCain winds up in a virtual tie with Sen. Barack Obama among beer drinkers. In the head-to-head match-ups with McCain, Sens. Obama and Clinton each win a majority among registered voters who prefer wine to beer.

Overall, 28 percent of all Americans say they prefer beer to wine and 31 percent say they would rather have a glass of wine than a bottle of brew. (The rest claim that they never drink under any circumstances.)

The apparent political differences are really matters of gender and class — men are big beer drinkers while women prefer wine over beer, as do higher-income Americans and college graduates.

My preferences are situational. I like pinot noir and wheat beers best, although I’ll drink shiraz or a stout — or even the occasional IPA — when the mood strikes. As to whether I’d prefer a good Willamette Valley pinot to a Belgian wheat, it depends on a variety of factors that I’m unable to quantify.

As to the survey, I think the last sentence in the excerpt is right: the beer/wine dichotomy is really a proxy for gender and class differences. I’m rather dubious, however, of the finding that 41 percent of Americans “never drink under any circumstances.”

FILED UNDER: Blogosphere, Campaign 2008, Public Opinion Polls, , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Dave Schuler says:

    If the general election campaign proceeds as I expect it will, we’ll all need gin.

  2. DC Loser says:

    So where does that put us distilled liquor drinkers?

  3. Alex Knapp says:

    “Beer vs. Wine” is only a dichotomy if you break out and divide real beer drinkers, and those folks who drink the colored, flavorless water that goes by the name of Budweiser, Bud Light, Miller Light, etc….

    Hmm. I may have revealed my class just now…

  4. James Joyner says:

    I may have revealed my class just now…

    Indeed. I was in my 30s before I started drinking beer because I thought the aforementioned beverages were beer. Had Guinness or decent hefeweizen been my first experience with it, I’d have become a fan much sooner, I suspect.

  5. Dave Schuler says:

    I grew up in St. Louis. Busch Beer is the beverage of my childhood. It’s a lot better in St. Louis and, as I learned in Germany, beer doesn’t travel very well.

  6. Jeffrey W. Baker says:

    We’re supposed to believe that 41% of Americans are staunch teetotalers? The Republic is in grave danger indeed.

  7. Grewgills says:

    I’m guessing Obama has the Trappist ale voters as well.

  8. James Joyner says:

    I’m guessing Obama has the Trappist ale voters as well.

    You’d have to be high to vote for Obama, and tripels are certainly a way of achieving that state.