With all of the hype and media coverage surrounding both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, many Americans who could not attend themselves may be wondering about the chanting, flag-waving, and occasionally booing crowds they saw on T.V.
Who are those people? What makes the population at the DNC so different from that of the RNC?
In a telling study, Yelp compiled some interesting data about what the people at each convention were looking up on its search engine.
Yelp’s data scientist analysed the relative increase in number of searches for each Yelp business category in Cleveland during the RNC and in Philadelphia during the DNC, as compared with searches in each city from a week prior. They then compared the results with one another to paint a picture of the individuals at both conventions.
Some of the results are surprising, some of them reinforce classic stereotypes — and some are just plain weird.
RNC attendee searches
- Hawaiian food saw a tremendous increase in searches in Cleveland when the RNC came to town — up a whopping 623% — while the same search category at the DNC saw a 65% decline.
- RNC-goers were also looking for gay bars. That search category went up 45% in Cleveland during the RNC, while it only went up 18% in Philly during the DNC.
- Dive bar searches increased 40% at the RNC, compared with only a 7% increase at the DNC. It seems like RNC attendees were seeking out some laid-back nightlife options to cope with the stress of the convention.
- Unsurprisingly, the RNC population was also after some good old comfort food. That category saw a 28% upswing in searches in Cleveland, while no change was detected while the DNC was in Philly. Specifically, hot dogs, pizza, and burgers experienced significant increases to satisfy RNC appetites.
- In the retail and service sectors, RNC attendees were desperate for some massage therapy. That category saw a 178% increase on Yelp in Cleveland, while it saw a 1% decrease in Philadelphia.
- True to the second-amendment-loving RNC crowd, searches for guns and ammo went up 79% with the Republican presence in Cleveland, while they fell 12% at the DNC.
- RNC folks also searched for men’s clothing (up 72%), women’s clothing (up 50%), and golf (up 34%).
DNC attendee searches
- As far as food and nightlife categories were concerned, the DNC population wanted to check out Philadelphia’s distilleries — increasing searches by 74% compared to no change in that category at the RNC.
- DNC attendees were also on the hunt for some diverse food options. They browsed Yelp for Mongolian food (up 48% at the DNC, down 24% at the RNC), Kosher food (up 35% at the DNC, down 13% at the RNC), and vegan food (up 33% at the DNC, down 2% at the RNC).
- Non-food categories showed interesting trends among DNC attendees. Up 68% with the Democrats in Philly were searches for cosmetic surgeons, while the same category dropped 47% at the RNC in Cleveland. Looks like the Democrats wanted to change more than just America’s leader.
- Like the RNC crowd, DNC-goers also wanted to have a little fun outside of the convention. But instead of dive bars and gun activities, the Democrats sought out go-karts (up 69%) and arcades (up 20%).
- Tattoos were another big DNC search — up 42% in Philadelphia and down 2% in Cleveland. With all of the passionate people in the DNC crowd, maybe they were looking to get permanently inked with a likeness of their favourite candidate.
So what can we conclude about this information? “It’s humanising,” a Yelp data analyst told Business Insider.
While some of the search categories support existing stereotypes about both parties, they do tell us more about the individual people at each convention. Overall, it’s important to remember that we are all human beings with our own wants, needs, and pastimes that transcend the candidate we may be voting for in November. At the end of the day, we’re not that different — we all like to eat, relax, and go to some funky bars.
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