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Do Republicans or Democrats Tip Better?

August 24th, 2008 by Curtis

NOTE: Today we are adding another voice to these pages — my old friend Curtis Robinson. He’s heading to Denver to take in the Democratic National Convention, and he’s agreed to share what he sees with all of us. In preparation for his trip, he has unearthed some research about how each end of the political spectrum treats the hired help. Fascinating! Thanks, and welcome, Curtis.

by Curtis Robinson (not Don Kahle)

We’re sure to hear plenty of wild-eyed poll-result spinning as hurricane DemCon blows through Denver next week, but let’s begin by shedding some quantitative light on a burning questions of our times: Who tips better, Republicans or Democrats?
Since you are how you drink, we should ponder a new survey out of Washington that queried 100 capital barkeeps on that landmark question and more. Some sobering findings: Democrats are clearly better tippers, have better pick-up lines and give better toasts. Republicans are dominant over Democrats when it comes to ordering their drink straight up. Parties are at a near stalemate over drinking hours, with Republicans holding a slight lead in he coveted “first to arrive at happy hour” title and Democrats ruling “last to go home.” Could the later be associated with dominance in the “best pickup line” column? Mysteries abound.
The timely survey was issued by Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc. working with the Clarus Research Group (a disclaimer of sorts here — I used to work at a company that is part of Clarus, or the other way around … that my former colleagues would want to survey bartenders is no particular shock).
“According to the survey results, bartenders in Denver should know that they’ll hear better toasts while the bartenders in Minneapolis (site of the GOP convention) won’t need as much ice with their patrons ordering drinks straight up,” stated Bobby “G” Gleason, master mixologist for Beam Global Spirits & Wine.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking: Hey, nobody at Career Day said anything to me about no job called “master mixologist.” And Jim Beam is cool enough to hire an executive named “G?” But when you calm down, you can see this research as a wake-up call.
As an objective journalist, I’m of course professional and neutral. Still, with the possible exception of “toilet-seat-up, toilet-seat-down,” there is no more defining American issue than honest, hard working straight-up drinkers vs. the blatant terrorist-coddling national security threats polluting our culture with teeth-and-morality rotting “fruity, let’s just say it PINK,” drinks (emphasis added, not that it was needed).
And when we learn that 58 percent of D.C. bartenders say Dems are fruity while only 34 percent fingered the GOP … well, take as many foreign rock-star, change-agent trips as you want, but maybe consider a few photo opps ordering whiskey neater than your hairstyle, eh Senator?
And it’s no surprise that Democrats are better tippers than Republicans. The only debate is the cause: Do Democrats love giving away money so much that the impulse just carries over into tipping? Are Republicans holding back 10 percent for supply-side tithing?
It’s fun to create your own self-confirming spin, so here are the poll results (in percentages): Better tipper? Democrats 60, Republicans 38; More likely to order straight up? Democrats 14, Republicans 82; More likely to order a fruity (pink) drink? Democrats 58, Republicans 34; Better pick-up lines? Democrats 74, Republicans 14; Better at giving a toast? Democrats 63, Republicans 36; More likely to arrive first to happy hour? Democrats 48, Republicans 50; More likely to be the last to go home? Democrats 53, Republicans 46.
(Curtis Robinson is a former newspaper editor and longtime national director of Ban Silly Umbrella Drinks While There’s Still Time coalition. He appears here on Saturdays and will be posting fairly random Internet blogs throughout the Democratic National Convention at

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  • 1 Paul Oct 22, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    I’d love to see additional ‘research’ that supports or negates this assertion. Plus, I find the fact of what “bartenders think” as highly unscientific.

    Their own political views will bias how they see others. I’m willing to bet there are more Democratic bartenders than Republicans..