Your name can indicate which presidential hopeful you support.
Bias to Hillary Clinton:
Bias to Donald Trump
Rather than focusing on donors, if we just look at Democrats and Republicans, then Miriam, Sarah, Emily, Nina, Ian, Ellen and Alison are most likely to be Democrats. Meanwhile, Duane, Billy, Brent, Chad, Dale, Kirk and Kent top the Republican names list.
Where are we going? To the message conveyed by a baby’s name.
Signals From Baby Names
Please imagine for a moment a continuum of names. On the right we have the conservative wing while the liberals are on the left.
Names like Elizabeth and John occupy the right side of the scale because they are traditional and more masculine sounding with harder consonants and/or fewer syllables. The names that signal a conservative outlook tend to be simple and familiar.
On the liberal end of the scale, names can convey a more cerebral message and have a more “feminine feel” and softer sounding letters. The Zooeys in our world can probably thank J.D. Salinger. Chelsea Clinton was named after a Joni Mitchell song.
According to researchers at the University of Chicago, our next step could be to hypothesize consumption patterns based on ideology. Distinguishing themselves through tradition and wealth, conservative households vote Republican, own small businesses, occupy managerial positions and shop at Brooks Brothers. Liberals meanwhile like to communicate their cultural prestige by could driving a Prius, having solar panels and wearing a Peruvian woven scarf that expresses a social concern for the world.
Our Bottom Line: Conspicuous Consumption
In his Theory of the Leisure Class, Thorstein Veblen explains that the upper class signals its power by living extravagantly. Calling expensive purchases conspicuous consumption, he says their primary purpose is a social message.
Because baby names display the type of identify and power that parents want to convey, they too reflect conspicuous consumption.
My Sources: H/T to the Washington Post for alerting me to the Verdant Labs lists of names tending toward political parties and anotherWashington Post article that demonstrated the connection between names and jobs. But, if you want to move onward to academia, this paper has a more rigorous study.