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 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.”