TV Shows Offer Clues To Political Leanings

The Nielsen Study

Do Democratic and Republican viewers respond differently to TV shows? Find out here.

Political campaigns are always trying to figure out which messages are pushing your buttons. Turns out they're also paying attention to the buttons you push on your remote control.

The TV ratings company Nielsen just released a potentially valuable study for political ad placement: It asked self-described Democrats and Republicans how much they remembered about the shows they watched the night before.

So what did Nielsen come up with?

Nielsen found that Republicans paid most attention to South Park, where Cartman often talks about how much America "kicks ass."

Alternatively, Democrats really get involved in The Colbert Report, where a recent show called Larry Flynt the No. 1 threat to America for his new porn, Who's Nailin' Paylin?

No real surprises there, but turn to the Discovery Channel. On the game show Cash Cab, unsuspecting contestants win big money while rolling through the streets of New York City. The Deadliest Catch documents the perilous work of king crab fishermen in Alaska.

Red State Alaska versus Blue State New York. Which do you think scored the highest among Democrats and Republicans?

"Ironically, The Deadliest Catch, which you would think might be more attractive to a Republican constituency — the Democrats have that as their No. 1 show," says David Marans, an executive vice president with Nielsen's research group, IAG. "And Cash Cab, located in, shall we say, a quite urban environment, was No. 1 on Discovery among Republicans. So maybe both sides wanted to pay a lot of attention to what the other world is doing, if you will."

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