Do You Eat Like a Republican or a Democrat?

Jul 18, 2016

In the land of "two Americas," it turns out Republicans and Democrats don't even like the same foods.

Using exclusive data provided by Grubhub, an online food delivery service that partners with restaurants all over the country, we examined the aggregate ordering patterns of customers across nearly 200 congressional districts. Out of 175 popular items ordered on Grubhub, 75% had significant correlations to the partisanship of those districts. The following quiz tests the politics of your diet by presenting you with 10 choices between pairs of dishes with the strongest political affinities.

Of course, we all know that eating a hamburger makes you more likely to vote Republican. In all likelihood, the fact that people in Democratic districts are significantly more likely to order Chicken Tikka Masala is a factor of the higher availability of that dish in more liberal areas. Then again, perhaps we shouldn't be surprised. Salad has been a wedge issue at least since Barack Obama first ran for president.

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Methodology
Grubhub provided us with the number of times each of 175 dishes was ordered in 214 congressional districts, as well as the total number of orders in each district. We created a partisanship score for the districts based on the average share of the vote going to Democratic and Republican congressional candidates over the past two cycles. After removing districts with small numbers of total orders, we ran a correlation between the percentage of orders containing each dish and the partisanship of the district, weighted toward districts with higher total order volume. The overall score is the total of the correlation coefficients for the 10 foods that the user chose, normalized to a scale of 0 (maximally Democratic) to 100 (maximally Republican).

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