The Real Reason Liberals Drink Lattes
by Diana C. Mutz, University of Pennsylvania and Jahnavi S. Rao, Radnor High School
In surveying 1500 Americans — 1,000 of whom were coffee drinkers, researchers discovered that liberals and conservatives are equally likely to enjoy coffee. They also found that most Americans— regardless of political ideology — prefer regular brewed coffee to lattes. Nonetheless, liberals are indeed more likely to drink lattes. In exploring why liberals show a stronger preference for lattes, the researchers considered numerous factors, including the availability of lattes in one’s local area (which is greater in urban areas), household income (lattes are expensive!), and female gender (lattes are considered girly drinks). Although all of these factors positively predicted latte drinking, none of them explained the relationship between lattes and liberals. Instead, latte drinkers’ attitudes toward globalization proved most meaningful in explaining why liberals are more likely to drink lattes. Conservatives eschew lattes as part of a general aversion to foreign-sounding products, despite the fact that lattes are a boon to the American dairy industry.