Skip to navigationSkip to content

In TV-watching, Democrats vote “Game of Thrones” and Republicans skew “Supernatural”

AP/Richard Shotwell/Invision
US Republicans and Democrats both have a soft spot for the Winchester brothers.
  • Ashley Rodriguez
By Ashley Rodriguez


Published This article is more than 2 years old.

US Democrats and Republicans might not agree on much during this highly contentious election season, but there is one thing they have in common: a fondness for the CW’s Supernatural.

The fantasy drama is a fan favorite among viewers on both ends of the political spectrum. The show, which has been renewed for a 12th season, was rated number one among Republicans who were asked to rank their favorite TV shows in an E-Poll Market Research survey. And it was the third-favorite among Democrats polled.

The consumer-research firm scored and ranked 750 primetime broadcast, cable, and streaming TV shows based on surveys of Americans of voting age who identified as Republicans or Democrats during the last broadcast season, which started in September 2015. Roughly 1,000 to 1,200 people were surveyed about each show.

CBS’s The Big Bang Theory and AMC’s The Walking Dead—the most-watched program among 18-to-49-year-old—also had big fans across both voter bases.

As a group, Democrats were all about HBO’s Game of Thrones, which was their top TV pick, followed by Tyler Perry’s The Haves and Have Nots on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

In general, the left-leaning group gravitated toward programs that were “sexy, edgy, emotionally involving, ethnically diverse or have strong characters,” such as FOX’s Empire, ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder, and ABC’s Nashville, which was recently dropped by its network and revived by CMT and Hulu, the survey found.

Top TV shows rated “one of my favorites” by US Democrats

1Game of ThronesHBO
2The Haves and the Have NotsOWN
4The Big Bang TheoryCBS
6The Walking DeadAMC
7How to Get Away with MurderABC
8Doctor Who (BBC America)BBC America

Source: E-Poll Market Research, 2016

Republicans, meanwhile, showed a surprising affinity for CW shows. Arrow and The Flash were also among this group’s favorites. Four CBS shows ranked high on the list as well.

Top TV shows rated “one of my favorites” by US Republicans

2The Walking DeadAMC
5The FlashCW
6The Big Bang TheoryCBS
8Blue BloodsCBS
10Last Man StandingABC

Source: E-Poll Market Research, 2016

Surprisingly, ratings juggernaut Game of Thrones was not among the top 10 shows favored by Republicans. In fact, no cable or premium TV program was.

A spokesperson for E-Poll said the Republicans surveyed seemed to prefer humorous, family-friendly shows like The Big Bang Theory; storylines that pitted good versus evil, NBC’s Grimm, and procedural programs like NCIS on CBS.

Republicans have shown similar preferences in other surveys, and aren’t as big of fans of premium networks like HBO and Showtime as their political counterparts. It’s unclear whether the right-leaning voter base watches less cable overall.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.