Who Loves Starbucks More, Republicans or Democrats?

Democrats may view the chain more favorably than their Republicans counterparts

Who needs their Starbucks Frappucinos more — the liberals or the conservatives? Although the coffee chain is based in largely Democratic Seattle, Washington, both ends of the political spectrum view the original and ubiquitous coffee chain positively.

In the beginning of this year, the YouGov BrandIndex Buzz asked respondents a simple question, and scored their responses: “Have you heard anything positive or negative about this brand?” Forbes reported the scores for the chain at the beginning of the year were 15.7 for Democrats, and 14.6 for Republicans. While the scores remain generally positive, the gap has widened since previous surveys. Recent scores are at 19.3 for Democrats and 10.7 among Republicans. The difference has grown significantly over the last six months, especially across party lines.

What makes liberals cling to their Starbucks cups more? It appears that Starbucks’s recent support of gay marriage in Washington State could be responsible for the widening gap. Despite efforts led by CEO Howard Shultz to discourage political donations to all parties by other chiefs and other partisan affiliations, the Republican response to the chain has steadily declined since Starbucks declared its support for marriage equality for same-sex couples. The National Organization for Marriage, a conservative group, launched an anti-Starbucks campaign in response to the announcement.

Conversely, support from Democrat consumers has increased since the statement. Liberal consumers tend to appreciate the values of the company, particularly their use of fair trade products and recycling campaign efforts, and their recognition as an ethical employer by Etisphere. We guess the Republicans may soon be jumping ship to another coffee chain.