Red Jobs, Blue Jobs [Updated/Updating]


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

Related Post Roulette

130 Responses

  1. Avatar Kazzy says:

    “Republicans at the bottom.”

    Bias! :-p

    You have police officer below army officer but with a lower percentage going Republican. Is the number in error? Or the order? And your “Curiosities” and “Trades” ordering also seem off?Report

  2. Avatar Brandon Berg says:

    Civil engineers aren’t that surprising if you look at it in terms of the regulatory hassles they have to deal with.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Brandon Berg says:

      Indeed, those roughly 1000 donations are indeed proof of that statement.Report

    • I think I may have a flawed idea of where civil engineers work. Sort of like geologists, another one I had wrong. When I think of “geologist” I think “Gaia Enthusiast” rather than “Resource Extraction Professional” when it looks like the latter might be more the case.Report

      • Avatar morat20 in reply to Will Truman says:

        I’ve only met the one civil engineer, and while he — like everyone — tended to dislike people poking around in his work, I got the distinct impression that the regulations he encountered were of the ‘We’d like this bridge not to fall down’ sort.

        Over conservative, perhaps, and irritating in a ‘I can do my job, thanks!’ way, but not exactly onerous because he ALSO didn’t want his bridges to fall down under the weight of the cars.

        The aerospace guys (who I know a LOT more of) might gripe about the FAA at times, but I’ve noticed a very good working relationship with them — as while any given regulation might be annoying, they’re all onboard with their existence and their general thrust.

        The chem e folks I know are all in the oil industry, and they do complain an awful lot about any EPA regs that get into their way.

        OTOH, my father used to wash his tools in benzene in the 60s and 70s, and complained bitterly about OSHA — right up until he moved into management. Then he complained about audits and compliance issues, but stopped complaining about the specific regulations (the fact that his work involved safety inspections of heavily pressurized vessels often full of things that go “boom” might have been what chilled him towards regulations and standards. Or perhaps just that we was seeing the overall injury rates. Refinery work is dangerous).Report

        • Avatar zic in reply to morat20 says:

          Most of the civil engineers I’ve met disparage the public processes of civil engineering; which can be time consuming and subsume what they consider their best designs to differing public wants.Report

          • Avatar morat20 in reply to zic says:

            I think that’s different then the regs I’m thinking of. (I’m most familiar with things in aerospace, so it’s stuff like “If you want that to be a commercial jet, bit X must comply thusly and thusly, and be tested thusly”.).

            So I’m used to regulations concerning quality, design, lifetime calculations, etc. Stuff they SHOULD be doing anyways.Report

            • Avatar zic in reply to morat20 says:

              Yes, and I’m thinking of the engineers who redesign the local intersection where there have been X number of accidents over the last decade and the traffic piles up and Grandma can’t get to the pharmacy on the other side of the street without a crossing guard holding the cars back for her.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to zic says:

                The traffic engineers I used to work with hated the, how should I say, aesthetic interference. Lots of unhelpful ‘suggestions’ from people who know nothing about traffic engineering but what things to have a pleasing aesthetic but balk at the cost, or who see something neat in a magazine somewhere & want to do that, even though it’s wholly inappropriate for the problem at hand, etc. And that’s even before the engineers start looking at the various levels of regulations to see what is allowed and not.

                A common enough complaint in any engineering discipline where things are to be built, but I think public works engineers get it in spades.Report

              • Avatar Alan Scott in reply to zic says:

                Yeah. My civil engineer father is a die-hard Democrat, but the idiot public he had to deal with were mostly conservatives. If he’d been working in Alameda county instead of Shasta county, he might have turned out to be a Republican.Report

        • Avatar Kim in reply to morat20 says:

          The Chem E people may be a little less bitchy after the disaster in the Gulf. Not that any of them were responsible for it, but… when you work around people who are so awesome they don’t need the regs, and then you’re confronted with “holy shit, they just broke all the rules”… attitudes change.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to morat20 says:

          I’ve never had to deal with the EPA, but I have with the FAA, and the tales I hear of the EPA…

          As we’ve talked about before, the more logical, consistent, & transparent a regulatory body is, the less people have issue with it. The FAA* & OSHA might have a lot of regulations, but you can see the logic behind them, they are applied consistently, and the regulators can explain the logic & reasoning behind them (and are usually happy to do so).

          From what I hear of the EPA, there may be logic behind the regs, but what I hear suggests a great deal of opaqueness & inconsistency, with the feeling that the regs are often enforced by whim more than anything (or regulators stretching definitions or reaching for rules that apply elsewhere, etc.). The ATF has similar issues. This may be evidence of actual problems at the agency, or just simply a problem of transparency not being employed.

          *Let’s not talk about the FAA & it’s inability to deploy a modern ATC.Report

          • Avatar morat20 in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

            The guy I know who works with the EPA talks at length about the EPA, and I honestly can’t tell if the EPA’s problem is the sheer SIZE of their mandate (the environment is, well, everything), the complexity and fragile nature of their mandate (it doesn’t take a lot to screw over an environment), or the fact that the EPA doesn’t have nearly enough people to do it’s job.

            In a perfect world, you’d want to break the EPA up into sub-groups, with full EPA authority over their area. I mean good lord, you could break “water” into marine, freshwater, and aquifers alone. Pollution and waste should be it’s own entire department.

            I think the real problem with the EPA is it’s faced with a complex, really big problem that is resistant to full analysis. Metal fatigue is a lot better understood than “What the heck does this chemical do if gets into the water table? Not just to people, but the whole food chain?”Report

            • Avatar Kim in reply to morat20 says:

              Fixing things is often easier than preventing them in the first place.
              Ain’t that why we’ve got the military?Report

            • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to morat20 says:

              That’s another very good possibility, although one would think that at least internally, they would break things up into sub-groups like that, unless specifically prohibited from doing so. There is also the problem that the EPA is a political hot potato & probably gets lots of pressure & conflicting orders from politicians (thus contributing to the appearance of inconsistency).Report

  3. Avatar Chris says:

    Radiologist: 67.1% Republican

    Friggin’ shadow doctors.Report

  4. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Morticians tend Republican?

    That’s… I have no idea why that would be.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Jaybird says:

      Not sure if it’s a religion thing or an entrepreneur thing.Report

    • Avatar zic in reply to Jaybird says:

      My guess is that it’s a cultural thing; the people who would be successful as morticians (it’s a market, too!), deal with customers when they’re at their most vulnerable and grieving and seeking the solace of traditions.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to zic says:

        Lord knows my pitch for a Twitter-enabled iFuneral has failed to find any venture capital backing thus far.Report

        • Avatar Chris in reply to Glyph says:

          My condolences. Have you considered upgrading to the AX7000 series coffin? #HeWouldLookBetterInGoldTrimReport

          • Avatar Glyph in reply to Chris says:

            I know you enjoy the occasional absurd AVClub thread. Here is a hashtag-related one between GaryX and Jedi Dada that was killing me the other day. Start here:


            • Avatar Chris in reply to Glyph says:

              GaryX is a genius.Report

            • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Glyph says:

              Wait. Hannibal was cancelled? Then why are there so many news stories about other stuff?Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to Brandon Berg says:

                I am hoping (HOPING) that someone else will pick it up. I would have thought Amazon was a natural candidate, since they already have exclusive streaming rights, and are trying to get more critical-prestige content, but I think they passed.

                Which leaves your Netflixes, Yahoos and Hulus – BUT, the worry on the other end is that Gaumont (the European partner production/int’l-market distribution company that has been doing the cost-sharing with NBC, which makes the show relatively cheap to produce) has made noises that without a major traditional American broadcast TV network as their “in” to US markets, it’s not worth it for them, and they might pull out too. Dunno if that’s just bet-hedging or negotiation-gamesmanship or what.

                Plus, Fuller has already signed on to showrun Neil Gaiman’s American Gods for Starz.

                I can’t really blame NBC, they gave Hannibal three seasons and the ratings were never great, plus the actual content must give their S&P person ulcers.

                I mean, seriously, did you watch last week? That is allowed on network TV?!

                All I know is, if they don’t find some way satisfyingly to wrap the story up, I will have to roast and eat someone.Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Jaybird says:

      My perception is that small business owners in general lean heavily Republican, unless it’s the kind of business that disproportionately draws Democrats (e.g. yoga instructors).Report

      • There’s a certain kind of entrepreneurship that I tend to associate with Republicans. Hard to describe (“Structured Entrepreneurship”?), but it specifically involves things like car dealerships and fast food franchisees. Funeral homes fit into that mold pretty well.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Will Truman says:

          Store keepers and other small business people tended to be resolutely conservative in their political beliefs in different countries. My guess is that it is because they have a lot to lose by regulations and higher taxes. Big businesses have the money and people power to deal with regulators. Small businesses do not. They want to keep things simple and taxes low to make things easier for themselves.Report

          • Avatar Kim in reply to LeeEsq says:

            Yawn. Only for the businesses that intend to pay taxes.Report

          • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to LeeEsq says:

            They want to keep things simple…

            This. Property taxes for the city, county, school district, and six special districts of different sorts. (Potentially conflicting) health regulations by both the city and the state. (Potentially conflicting) environmental regulations by both the state and the feds. (Potentially conflicting) city, state and federal regulations on accessibility. Small business owners ought to get special props just for being willing to take on that tangled mess.Report

        • Avatar Christopher Carr in reply to Will Truman says:

          I think you got it. I think that also explains the political-ideological distributions in the medical field wrt how reimbursements work.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Brandon Berg says:

        Used to, Obamacare changed a lot of minds.
        (or rather, lack of Obamacare).

        If you don’t believe me, you’re welcome to take up the discussion with Nate Silver, who was seriously looking into relocating outside the United States. And he’s a numbers guy, so you know the issue was kinda serious.Report

      • Avatar Murali in reply to Brandon Berg says:

        Well, if you’re a yoga instructor, you’re either a new-agey kind of person or an Indian (or both). Both groups trend democrat for somewhat different but fairly obvious reasons.Report

        • Avatar zic in reply to Murali says:

          I don’t know that Indian-Americans trend Democratic; I’d presume they trend Republican, socially conservative and entrepreneurial.Report

          • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to zic says:


            “In the Presidential Election, three-quarters (77%) of Asian Americans polled voted for Barack Obama for President and 21% voted for Mitt Romney. Support for each candidate varied by ethnic group, with a high of 54% of Vietnamese Americans voting for Romney, compared to 3% of Bangladeshi Americans.

            The percentage of Asian Americans who voted for Obama by ethnic group are as follows (from highest to lowest): Bangladeshi American (96%); Pakistani American (91%); Indian American (84%); Chinese American (81%); Korean American (78%); Filipino American (65%); and Vietnamese American (44%).”

            The problem, for everything I’ve read, is that basically, Republican’s are seen as the White Christian party, so even if you’re socially conservative or a small business owner, voting for people who seem not to want you around is probably not in the cards. Throw in the fact many Asian groups are younger skewing, and you get a nice recipe for a Democratic-dominated electorate.Report

          • Avatar Murali in reply to zic says:

            You would think that given that Indians are socially conservative and entrepreneurial, they would vote Republican. But you forget that the Republican party at least in appearance and quite likely in reality as well has a reputation as being unwelcoming to people of colour. You might think that since at least two south Asian governors (Jindal and Haley) that perception might be lower, but it just makes it worse. Conservative Indians take a dim view of other Indians who “Christianise” their names to fit into American culture. More progressive Indians are fine with it. But, if you are progressive, you are not likely to join the republican party. If you are a conservative Indian, you are going to look on Jindal and Haley* as sell-outs.

            *By all indications, Nikki was her middle name since she was born. Though, the fact that she goes by her middle name instead of her first name conveys that she is ashamed of her Indian heritage (whether or not she in fact is). And since Indians rarely name their daughter Nikki (even if it is technically an Indian name also), people who do not bother to search (most of us) will just assume that she anglicised her name in order to fit in.Report

            • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Murali says:

              Conservative Indians take a dim view of other Indians who “Christianise” their names to fit into American culture.

              Now that you mention it, I have a Gujarati friend who expressed a similar sentiment. He’s lived in the US since he was seven, and he’s not conservative in general, but he doesn’t approve of Anglicized names.Report

            • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Murali says:


              I went to high school with kids whose father was born in India. He married a white Wisconsin Lutheran woman, and the kids’ given names are English names (I think literally English). The kids, though I’m guessing we might identify a number of their views as progressive in a broad sense, both self-identified as conservative in high school. At the time I thought I detected a strong indication that this was out of an inclination to signal independence of Madison’s almost universally leftist politics. But I believe in both cases those politics have stuck. (Though I wouldn’t be surprised if neither supports Scott Walker.)

              Anyway, point being, I’m guessing if you met them and just talked overall life attitudes, you would definitely identify them as progressive and not conservative the the way you’re talking about re Indians in America. But as far as I know both would identify more as Republicans than Democrats, though almost certainly both would primarily identify as independents. It also may be that they are simply Americans – born in the U.S. to a white American mother – and not Indian in the sense you mean when you talk about how Indians in America relate to U.S. politics. From Facebook I gather, though, that at least the brother has made significant effort to maintain or build his ties to family in India.

              Incidentally, I was completely in love with the sister in high school and much of college. Just a goner. She was way too popular for me, though.Report

            • Avatar Kim in reply to Murali says:

              One of my very good Indian friends is named George (His family’s been christian since way back when).Report

        • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Murali says:

          @murali What are those reasons? I don’t know a lot about Indian history, but my understanding is economic performance was pretty abysmal under the left-wing Nehru and Gandhi administrations.Report

          • Avatar Murali in reply to Brandon Berg says:

            Read @jesse-ewiak’s or for that matter my comment. In this case, the GOP has a racism problem. At the very least, its a matter of optics. Remember, people vote largely for symbolic reasons (since voting to actually achieve some political outcome is irrational). Ever since the Bill Clinton, the Republican party does not so much symbolise the party of small businesses and entrepreneurs as the party white Christians. You might think that such optics are not good reasons to vote for Democrats over Republicans, but that is a normative/justificatory question. Perception of the GOP as the party of white Christians is sufficient as an explanation of voting patterns.Report

            • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Murali says:

              Fair enough. I think of the Democrats as being more hostile to Indians (anti-globalization), but in politics perception is all that really matters. I guess the Cubans and Vietnamese are the exceptions to the rule because the Republican Party was actively hostile to their oppressors.Report

            • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Murali says:

              Perception of the GOP as the party of white Christians is sufficient as an explanation of voting patterns.

              I think this is it. Trumpeting Christian values and American traditions while strongly implying that urbanites are not Real Americans is probably off putting to a non-Christian, immigrant population that settles mostly in and around urban centers. Even without going on the attack, it creates a general vibe that makes it very hard for out-groups to identify with.

              I imagine that if I settled in, say, a majority Muslim country and there was a political faction that loudly trumpeted its adherence to Islam and the superiority of the traditional ways of the local culture and another one that had a milquetoast lack of cultural identity, I’d gravitate strongly toward the second one regardless of their actual policy positions.Report

            • Avatar Vikram Bath in reply to Murali says:

              I did write this thing supporting @murali ‘s views. I don’t call it “racism” per se, but I do say that it’s an identity thing. Indians as a group suspect that Republicans don’t actually want their support. This swamps anything about policy.Report

        • Avatar Alan Scott in reply to Murali says:

          Wait, there are actual Indian people working as Yoga instructors in the US? I had assumed that was pretty exclusively for white hippies and fitness junkies.Report

    • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Jaybird says:

      That seems intuitive to me. It’s grim work (I presume); my sense is Republicans tend to value “It’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it” (like military service) relatively more than Dems, who more prefer “I’d like my job to be reasonably pleasant while still being valuable.” Again, only relatively – plenty of both on both sides.Report

  5. Avatar Marchmaine says:

    Which Zip-code did you use?

    The trades skewing heavily republican is worth further digging; is this just a white working class phenomenon or a bigger trend away from trade work to knowledge work for Democrats?

    Also, two category questions… is Systems Engineer a technology career (it is where I work)? And, Sales as a trade? Not sure I know how it is categorized in research, but for people who check a career box called “sales” that’s usually a pretty white collar job… and in my 20-yr experience skews heavily Libertarian (as does large swaths of Technology).Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Marchmaine says:

      It’s nationwide, but limited to people who donated to campaigns.

      My decision to put Sales under trades was some combination of (1) having to put it somewhere, (2) listening to a song recently that described it as a “noble trade”, and (3) It’s something that requires training but not necessarily a college degree. It’s imperfect.

      I could have gone either way on System Engineer. I suspect it’s usually technology-related, but I suspect it’s sometimes business process related. And with that ambiguity, I felt Engineer was safer.Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Will Truman says:

        If nationwide, then the trade thing is interesting… though I couldn’t say why, yet.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Marchmaine says:

          Machinist vs Pipefitter surprised me a bit as far as this goes. Both tend to be unionized, and I would figure that aspect of it would either boost (because organization) or depress (because through the organization rather than individually) individual donations.

          Instead, one donates significantly to one side, and the other to the other.

          It might be the case that it boosts, and pipefitters are especially unionized. I know the pipefitters I know are uniformly so. It also could be that pipefitters are just an outlier due to the small sample set.Report

          • Avatar zic in reply to Will Truman says:

            For the last decade, machinist jobs have been heavily into weapons manufacture; at least that’s the case here; and they’re not anywhere near as unionized as they were a few decades ago. Pipe fitters, on the other hand, are tend to go where work is and that work is secured via a union.Report

            • Avatar Will Truman in reply to zic says:

              That makes sense. There is also a lot of machinist work in the oil industry. Of course, a lot of pipefitting work, too, but some of the big pipefitting employers back home were also tire plants, paper plants, and the like.Report

  6. Avatar SaulDegraw says:

    I am perplexed by some of the distinctions. What is the difference between physicians and doctors? Is it just how they describe themselves.

    Why would software engineers be different than computer engineers politically?

    Could you break up law by type practiced? Trial lawyers and crim defense lawyers are overwhelmingly democratic but what about mergers and acquisition or wills and trusts lawyers?Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to SaulDegraw says:

      It’s purely self-description. Some different descriptions for the same job were included because they both had larger sample sets, though in other cases (Opthalmic Surgeon vs Opthamic SurgeonI simply took the one that had more.Report

    • Avatar veronica d in reply to SaulDegraw says:

      I’ve never met a “computer engineer,” but according to the Wiki, they are engineers who work equally with hardware and software to develop computer systems, which requires an equal mix of electrical engineering and software engineering.

      I suspect this might be an older group, and folks who continue to do that job maybe call themselves something different. Or maybe not. I don’t know.

      I should ask some of my coworkers. I work on a Lisp application, so naturally a lot of those guys [1] have been around since the bad-old-days. I wonder if they have insight.

      [1] And yes, guys. I am the only female software engineer on my team. It’s sad, actually. Lisp, it turns out, is not on the cutting edge of feminism.

      (All the cool kids learn Clojure these days anyhow.)Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to veronica d says:

        I’ve met scads of computer engineers (my good friend used to skip most of his classes claiming he already knew the stuff. piffle). Hell, I was even offered a job as one (it was working with wheelchairs! it would have been cool!). Guess that’s what comes of graduating from CMU.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to veronica d says:

        Computer Engineering was actually my second choice when choosing a major (I majored in CIS). The employment prospects for CET tended to be rather specifically at hardware companies. For instance, getting that degree heightened the chances I would have to relocate to Seattle (Intel) or Austin (Dell), whereas CIS was more ubiquitous and to a degree flexible.Report

        • Avatar Kim in reply to Will Truman says:

          CMU and University of Pittsburgh both have a combined Electrical and Computer Engineering program.

          With cmu, that means Computer Engineering good. With Pitt, that means Electrical engineering good.Report

        • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Will Truman says:

          Intel’s in Portland.Report

        • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Will Truman says:

          My primary work degree is computer engineering and I ended up doing a lot of firmware, drivers or signal processing for most of my career. I generally end up with a “software engineer” or “firmware engineer” title, but I’ve done work ranging from FPGA design to C# applications.

          Most of the time my closest peers have CS degrees but I spend a lot of time interfacing with pure hardware designers who are, in my experience, a much more conservative group that skews older, whiter and more male. There is definitely a difference in political culture between the hardware and software groups, but it seems more demographic than anything intrinsic to the job. I think that a lot of people who would have majored in electrical engineering or mathematics a generation ago are majoring in CS now. The result is the stream of younger, less white people entering the tech workforce are filling software chairs faster than hardware chairs.

          There’s also the possibility that software being seen as a “young person’s” field has an effect on who ends up where and how long they stay. A hardware engineer with gray hair is treated with respect off the bat. A software engineer with gray hair is often treated as an oddball. If you’re in hardware at age 50, you’re at peak engineering earnings potential. If you’re in software, you’re often thinking about becoming management.Report

      • Avatar Murali in reply to veronica d says:

        Computer engineering is still a fairly popular major in Singaporean universitiesReport

  7. Avatar veronica d says:

    I wonder what the differences are between a software engineer, a software developer, and a computer programmer?

    My current employer calls me the first, but I’ve been called the others and haven’t noticed much difference in what I do.

    (Can I call myself a computer scientists if I don’t work in research? What’s the exact boundary, since it probably is not how much theory I know and apply.)

    In any event, the breakdown for tech matches my experience. It also kinda matches the “nerd status” ordering, which is the inverse of the “likely to play golf” ordering. Funny that.

    And yes, systems engineer should be in the tech pile.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to veronica d says:

      If you’re in applied research, you can call yourself a computer scientist. If your stuff is new enough to be publishable as “this is Important”, then call yourself a computer scientist. If you’re just writing another stupid java program to do boring repetitive stuff, then you’re a developer or a programmer, but not a computer scientist.Report

      • Avatar veronica d in reply to Kim says:

        Right. But I’m legit between those two poles. Which, my job is “software engineer,” but I’m certainly not writing shitty little Java programs that do stupid little things. I don’t like to work on “solved problems.” Instead, I like to work on, “Well, in theory we might be able to do this, but we’re not sure how yet. We have an EXPTIME prototype. Can we get that to scale?”

        Of course, right now I’m babysitting a ginormous old bit of crunchy Lisp code. So there is that.Report

        • Avatar Kim in reply to veronica d says:

          Ah, it must be only me that knows the folks that like to work on the theoretically unsolvable problems. On the bleeding edge of the possible, and all that.

          The sort of jobs for the competent, those. Me, I eke out a decent living doing decently important, but rather boring stuff. Maybe once I save a few shekels, I’ll go back to being poor and doing cool stuff like eyetracking.Report

  8. Oral Surgeon: 81.6% Republican (550)

    “Is it safe?”

    Mathematician: 91.5% Democrat (320)

    We did invent formsl logic.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      The fact that oral surgeons vote Republican is the #1 reason not to. “You’re going to feel some pressure” is not a valid way to approach the social safety net.Report

    • Avatar veronica d in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      Damn! And I need some dental work soon.

      Like, “Hi, I’m a big old visible tranny and maybe you can dig around in my face with sharp implements and HEY! how ’bout that gay marriage thing. Cool, yeah? Uh, hey, what is that — I’m not sure what to call it, but why are you — !!!!!!”

      (If you don’t hear from me again you’ll know what happened.)Report

  9. Avatar Road Scholar says:

    Since when is Accounting a science?Report

  10. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    Question: Would money from the unions representing X industry be listed on that industry?

    If so, it seems interesting that almost all of those are republican.Report

  11. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    It’s just hitting me now that I’m conflating union with blue collar union.Report

  12. Avatar Maribou says:

    Library Directors (all 52 of them) are infinity times more likely to give to Democrats than Republicans.

    It only took me one try to find a profession that would tell me how the tool deals with dividing by zero :D.Report

  13. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    A Break down of the Legal Profession:

    Assistant District Attorney: 70.9 Percent Democratic.

    Trial Attorney (aka Plaintiff’s Lawyer): 87.4 percent Democratic.

    Trial Lawyer (see above): 91 Percent Democratic

    Assistant General Counsel: 64 percent Democratic

    General Counsel: 60 Percent Democratic

    Public Defender: 91.8 Percent Democratic

    Tax Lawyer: 55.2 Percent Democratic

    I couldn’t find any entries for transactional attorneys, probate/wills and trust attorneys, Corporate Lawyers (especially those that do corporate defense)Report

  14. Avatar Saul Degraw says:


    Sales seems like an awfully broad category. What are people selling? I imagine that someone who does sales at high-end fashion boutique (depending on the geographical location) probably has a different political orientation that someone who sells Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices or Weapons or Steel.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Perhaps so, but at the same time, much of the skill set involved in sales has little to do with what is sold. Salespeople must be appealing to their customers and in some segments of a market, customers demand or at least expect to be surrounded by people who evidence similar values and priorities as themselves. In other segments of the market, that’s quite irrelevant. My prejudice is that for most things, politics are irrelevant to customers, and salespeople labor to keep their politics to themselves lest political differences of opinion create unnecessary friction points.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Burt Likko says:


        I agree with you on skillset and a good salesperson should be able to sell all things.

        Yet socially and psychologically, it is interesting that certain jobs tend to get oriented with various political orientations. People who might love a Sales Pharma should know how to sell at an Art Gallery in Chelsea or a fashion boutique on Rodeo Drive but you don’t see much overlap for some reason. And I imagine that it is corporate type of sales which swings Republican or it is the yeoman quality of being in sales and working on a 100 percent commission.

        Sales are irrelevant to customers though.Report

    • I actually just created a new section for everything that has Sales in it, which has something of a breakdown. I was really interested to see that “Retail Sales” and “Sales Associate” lean to the right. I would have guessed that they would be the outliers. But I guess if they have had enough success to donate to political campaigns, they’re not entirely representative of salespeople as a whole.Report

      • Avatar Saul DeGraw in reply to Will Truman says:

        Ad people seem to be the only ones to the left. I guess this is because of the more creative aspects.

        Retail associate is a broad category and covers the entire nation. I imagine that people who work in book stores generally swing left. People who work in trendy boutiques in cities and place like Amoeba music probably swing left as well but overall I can see why it goes right-wing.

        Real Estate is also interesting. Being a real estate agent is fairly popular profession for actors in New York City (and maybe LA). A lot of actors like it because the income is decent to good if you do it well (and there are probably actor skills that sales people can learn) and you can swing into auditions during the day easily. Tutoring is another popular income generator for some or many artists. I know quite a few writers, actors, and directors with side gigs in tutoring for the SATs or school in general.Report

        • Avatar Kim in reply to Saul DeGraw says:

          ” A lot of actors like it because the income is decent to good if you do it well (and there are probably actor skills that sales people can learn) and you can swing into auditions during the day easily. ”
          …well, that’s what they say, truth or fiction.Report

      • Avatar Alan Scott in reply to Will Truman says:

        Couple of things on retail sales:

        99% of the racist shit that gets posted on my FB page comes from some of the supervisors at my former Grocery Store job. And I wouldn’t be very surprised if the folks of a similar age who aren’t FB friends have similar views. These are middle aged women–women who grew up in an era when there was such a thing as a middle-class blue-collar job. They are resentful as fuck that all their hard work and seniority isn’t making them a middle-class wage, and mostly taking it out on immigrants, folks who get food stamps, and black people who don’t know how to treat cops with respect.

        Also, I wonder how much of it is driven by what people who work in stores put down for their occupation. I’ve seen a pretty absurd amount of “white women work with customers, men of color work in the back room” going on at many retail establishments. If only the upfront people are putting “retail sales”, then that might also help explain the discrepancy.Report

  15. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Making a comment to make other comments appearReport

  16. Avatar Randy Harris says:

    Re Trades: I suspect that many of the plumbers, electricians, etc. are small business owners and thus trend republican.Report

  17. Avatar Vikram Bath says:

    My trite explanations.

    The touchy-feelies go Democrat; all the specialists with Important Skills go Republican.

    If you only produce ideas -> Democrat
    If you produce stuff -> Republican
    Also, anyone who opposes H1b visas is awesome.

    Republicans let us build things. Democrats don’t.

    Academics -> Democrats
    Industry -> Republican

    All we produce are ideas -> Democrat

    Do you mint ideas? Democrat.
    Do you mint money? Republican

    All we produce are ideas -> Democrat

    The free market already ensures everyone gets exactly what they deserve -> Republican

    Public servants:
    Help people -> Democrat
    Kill the bad guys -> RepublicanReport