With the statistically demonstrated differences between liberals and conservatives in education, intelligence, and knowledge of world events, I definitely tend to associate trendy names like Braden and Nevaeh with conservatives and classic names like Elizabeth and Nathaniel with liberals. I would also assume that literary names like Ophelia are given by liberals, while names that glorify violence (Remington, Gunner, Rekker, Maverick, Hunter) were bestowed by conservatives.
I was on a radio show -- I think it was an LA NPR station -- with the professor who did the widely-reported recent study on liberal vs. conservative names. He matched baby names to voting records in different areas and so there was a lot of quantitative data behind the parsing of names as liberal or conservative. Here's one story on the study: Republicans and Democrats can’t even agree on baby names
And here's a list of specific names and how often the parents who choose them are considered liberal: Circle of Moms
Excellent links, Pam!
"Oliver and colleagues argue that liberals, consciously or unconsciously, signal cultural tastes and erudition when picking their child’s name."
Certainly true for this liberal. I like the idea that liberals choose "softer-sounding" names for both boys and girls -- also true of my picks, at least. It also makes sense that names associated with non-white populations would track liberal, since people of color are vastly more likely to vote blue.
First Name// Gender// Name Frequency// Percentage Liberal
Amani Female 0.02% 100%
Amari Female 0.03% 100%
Anaya Female 0.01% 100%
Aniya Female 0.01% 100%
Antoine Male 0.01% 100%
Ashanti Female 0.01% 100%
Ayana Female 0.01% 100%
Deandre Male 0.01% 100%
Deshawn Male 0.01% 100%
Diamond Female 0.02% 100%
Essence Female 0.01% 100%
Jamal Male 0.01% 100%
Janiya Female 0.01% 100%
Jaylon Male 0.01% 100%
Jermaine Male 0.01% 100%
Kamari Male 0.01% 100%
Khalil Male 0.02% 100%
Marquis Male 0.02% 100%
Marquise Male 0.01% 100%
Mekhi Male 0.01% 100%
Nasir Male 0.02% 100%
Omari Male 0.01% 100%
Reginald Male 0.01% 100%
Tyrell Male 0.01% 100%
So, I have to conclude by this data that I do not like liberal names. lol
v Yes, I read it, but do you know how to take a slight jest? I thought the "lol" might indicate that I was only poking fun.
"This leads to the second difference: the names they chose. Oliver and colleagues find that there were roughly two kinds of uncommon baby names: ones that are completely made up or just different spellings of common names (like “Jazzmyne” for Jasmine), and ones that are just esoteric. When racial minorities and the poor chose uncommon names, they were more likely to choose the former. When Democrats or liberals chose uncommon names, they were more likely to choose the latter."
What the first article didn't note, but which is relevant to the second, is that racial minorities and the poor tend to vote Democrat -- thus the results of the BabyCenter poll.
I found it really interesting that certain sounds were associated with political leanings, like Kurt being conservative and softer sounds trending liberal. A couple of people called into the show and gave their kids' names and Professor Oliver guessed their political leaning, and got it right every time. I have to admit if I had been the one guessing, I may not have been as accurate! But he was judging purely on the sound thing.
Of course, any attempt to predict one kind of behavior based on another just makes me want to run out and do the opposite, just to defy expectations.
And yes, ethnic differences and educational differences add another factor to political differences. If you are looking at white college-educated liberals vs. white college-educated conservatives, you are going to see different baby naming patterns than if you compare white college-educated liberals with white high school dropout liberals with black college-educated liberals.
Here's a difference I've found when it comes to unisex names when comparing stats from "blue" and "red" states: It may surprise some, but unisex names - for both genders - tend to be more common in the more conservative areas (if you're interested I have a spreadsheet testing the theory several times). Those from areas like the U.S. South have often commented that they often encounter males with names that are more typically used on girls elsewhere in the country, and my tests have largely proved them right. Of all the U.S. regions the Northeast has been shown to be the most "sexist" in naming - there are fewer boys but plenty of girls with "crossover" names there (as well as more staid boy's classics that continue to rank high there but have dropped in other regions). States like California which are often considered to be the more sexually liberal ones come out pretty much neutral with regard to the aforementioned points.