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What do stats as to which profession gives to a particular political party tell us? You tell us!

John Stossel on

Why are you a conservative? Or a libertarian, Republican, Democrat, socialist? Ok, if you read my column, you're probably not a socialist. But how do people come to such different conclusions? We like to think that our politics are formed by rational analysis. We analyze what conservatives and liberals write, weigh their ideas, and form conclusions based on facts and evidence.

But it turns out something else is probably going on. I can predict your political party pretty accurately if I just know what you do for a living. Here's why I say that:

When you give money to a political candidate, the government requires that candidate's campaign to ask you what your profession is. That information is turned over to the Federal Election Commission.

Verdant Labs took that data and made an infographic that shows how people's professions predict their politics.

Eighty-nine percent of people who work in the fossil fuel industry donate to Republicans. Teachers mostly (79%) give to Democrats.

Sixty-four percent of flight attendants give to Democrats, but pilots (62%) prefer Republicans. Why?

 

In my new video, Rob Henderson, who studies the psychology of politics at the University of Cambridge, tries to explain.

For pilots, he says, "Their job is whether they take off and land and everyone's alive. Whereas for flight attendants, their job is more reliant on, 'How do people feel about you?'" Those differences lead them to different political parties.

The job differences go on and on. Bartenders mostly give to Democrats (89%), while truck drivers favor Republicans (69%). Business owners lean right (62%). Artists lean left (86%).

"People who lean left tend to be sort of more open, more creative, more interested in abstract ideas," says Henderson. Maybe that explains why most artists support Democrats.

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