Music Taste Differs By Political Party

This story was written by Erin Shields, Daily Collegian
The fact Alex Smith's favorite band is classic rock legend Led Zeppelin should come as no surprise -- he's the chairman of the College Republicans.

While the two facts seem to be unrelated, a recent survey released by a rock radio consulting firm found that anyone who listens to classic rock is more likely to vote Republican.

The survey, done by Jacobs Media, recently revealed the results from a technology survey dealing with rockers, politics and the much-anticipated 2008 presidential election. The survey showed that men and anyone who listens to classic rock are more likely to vote Republican, and women and those who listen to alternative rock are more likely to vote Democrat. Smith said he didn't think the music someone listens to is representative of their political views.

"I'm not necessarily sure there's any direct correlation between music and our political decisions," Smith said. "A lot of classic rock tends to be liberal. I have no problem ignoring the political views in the songs. I listen to the music because I just like the way it sounds."

Politics and music have been closely linked this year, especially in the endorsement of the democratic candidates. Third Eye Blind member Stephan Jenkins visited Penn State on Wednesday to voice his support for Barack Obama, who has also received support from Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas and Stevie Wonder. Madonna has voiced her support for Hillary Clinton. Sean Meloy, president of the College Democrats, said he is a fan of alternative rock and thinks the survey makes sense

"Alternative rock groups are usually more progressive in what they're singing about," Meloy said. "A lot of anti-Bush groups are alternative rock."

Associate professor of musicology Charles Youmans said that classic rock means rock that stands the test of time and that young people are generally enthusiastic about this type of music.

"It has to do with continued popularity," Youmans said. "When three generations of people are listening to the same music, it has achieved a classical status. The music we listen to reflects who we are and so do the decisions we make."

Rocco Panella (senior-chemical engineering) said his favorite genre of music is alternative rock, but he would probably be voting Republican in the 2008 presidential election. Still, he agreed with the results of the survey.

"I feel like more conservatives tend to be drawn to the type of music that is considered classic," Panella said. "I definitely see that trend. It's also been a big thing this year for popular bands to talk about a candidate, several promoting Obama." These survey results have encouraged radio show hosts to talk more about politics. Bryan Peach, promotions director of The Lion 90.7 FM, said the radio station's talk show has been focusing on national politics in recent weeks. "A large portion of students are coming into their own where political ideologies are concerned," Peach said, "and it interests them when the bands or artists they like have the same political views."
© 2008 Daily Collegian via U-WIRE
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