Last Updated on November 2, 2020
A voter preference voter poll from the New York Times and Siena College found that certain first names coincided with a strong statistical preference for either Republican candidate Donald Trump or Democrat candidate Joe Biden in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
The poll surveyed 17,025 prospective U.S. voters with the most common male and female first names in the country, showing names with more than 30 respondents from battleground states in the survey.
Unsurprisingly, Donalds are most likely to support Trump, with 68% voting for the Donald and a scant 19% supporting Biden. 55% of Donnas also support The Donald, with only 36% supporting Biden.
The names that are most likely to support Trump are generally male, with strong showings from Richard, Thomas, William, and Michael. However, the female names Janet, Cheryl, Debra, and Nancy skew heavily towards Trump.
Conversely, the names most likely to support Biden are overwhelmingly female, with strong pro-Biden representation from Sarah, Dorothy, Margaret, and Katherine. Biden’s top male supporters are Jacob, Patrick, and, Eric.
Perhaps most interestingly, when the poll is is broken down into the top 10 most common male and female names, the name that votes most strongly for Biden is Karen, with 60% of Karens opposing Donald Trump.
— Eli Yokley (@eyokley) November 2, 2020
“Karen” has become a popular meme on Twitter and Reddit, where users use it as a perjorative against white women who are seen as not being sufficiently “woke” or subservient to prevailing racial and political dogmas.
The actual political leanings of voters named Karen, however, are more in line with the original spirit of the meme when it first surfaced on Facebook and other platforms half a decade ago
Early iterations of the Karen meme were not as racialized and focused on the liberal entitlement of the titular character, who is often characterized as middle-aged, feminist, and obnoxious, often agitating customer service workers with complaints and demands related to allergies, video games, and her spoiled or special-needs children.
The New York Times poll is demographically skewed towards the Baby Boomer and Silent generations, who comprise the biggest subsets of the U.S. population. As such, younger names such as Chad, Stacy, or Shaniqua do not appear in the name table.