Is Your Name Democratic or Republican?

3 minute read

Politics has infiltrated everything this year, and it turns out names are no exception. Just ask your neighborhood Paisley, who had a top-10 name among newborns in seven states last year, all of which elected Donald Trump this fall. Or try Maya. The top 10 states where “Maya” peaked in popularity last year all preferred Hillary Clinton by substantial margins.

To examine this phenomenon, we crunched through the 10,000 baby names in the Social Security Administration’s state-by-state data figures for 2015 and found 2,800 that showed up in at least 10 different states. For each of those, we then took the 10 states where the name was most popular and looked at how the states voted in November to determine that name’s “score.” To see how political your name is, type it in below:

On the whole, Democrats had wider coverage: 1,523 names we studied were Democratic while 1,282 were Republican. While there were a few nailbiters—Immanuels are more Republican by just a fraction of a percent—many names were considerably partisan, aligning in popularity in regions that reliably favor one party much more than the other. Democrats racked up a higher total, in all likelihood, because the states where Clinton won are much more populous, meaning they also produce a wider diversity of names every year. (The SSA’s regional data only reports names assigned to at least five babies in a given state, so uncommon names may not show up in states with fewer residents.)

There were some surprises, of course. The 4,496 girls born in 2015 named Kennedy, recalling famous Democratic president, were most popular in red states that, as a whole, went 53% for Trump. Richard, the name of a certain notorious Republican president, did the opposite: 8 of the 10 states where Richard was a hot baby name voted blue. George, the name of our nation’s first President—as well as a few others—leaned heavily blue: 9 out of 10 states with a disproportionate share of Georges voted Democratic this year.

Donald, meanwhile, broke nearly evenly. While the top 10 states for the President-elect’s name broke 6 to 10 to Republicans, the combined population very slightly preferred Clinton. Hillary, on the other hand, was reported as occurring in only eight states, and thus did not make the cut. This is unsurprising. The name only began to gain traction in the early 1990s, and then dropped precipitously when Clinton entered the national stage.


After experimenting with several calculations, TIME chose to focus on where names were most regionally popular compared to other names in the same state, as opposed to merely the most commonly used, so as not to heavily skew the results in favor of populous states. Names were only considered if they showed up in at least 10 states because, since a state’s data is limited to names used at least five times in 2015, highly uncommon names cannot be reliably analyzed by region. In cases where a name had the same rank in two states, the tie went to the state where the name had the highest volume. The complete code to analyze the data is available on TIME’s Github page.

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