Monday, April 14, 2008

How Does Pennsylvania Compare? Part III: Gun Owners and Jon Stewart

This is the third part in my three part series on how Pennsylvania compares on a variety of cultural measures. I noted in Part I that Pennsylvania is most like Florida, Wisconsin, Virginia, Delaware, Ohio and Illinois when it comes to the percentage of Wal-Mart shoppers and pickup truck owners. In Part II, I demonstrated that Pennsylvania was closest to Wisconsin when it came to PBS viewership and stock ownership. In this post, I will examine how Pennsylvania compares on the percentage of its population that owns a gun and the average rating that its citizens give Jon Stewart on a scale from 1 to 7 (with 7 being most favorable). I've plotted the states on these two measures below:
As with the other measures I've looked at, these two variables are also related to each other. States with higher gun ownership are less favorable toward Jon Stewart while those with more gun ownership are less favorable. Pennsylvania appears to rank near the middle of the pack with regard to gun ownership and feelings about Jon Stewart. Wisconsin, Maine, Ohio and Virginia are all very close to Pennsylvania on these measures.

Wisconsin stands out as the one state that has been consistently close to Pennsylvania on all six of these measures. Virginia and Ohio were also close to Pennsylvania on most, but not all measures. Wisconsin was most similar to Pennsylvania on ratings of Jon Stewart, the percentage of stock owners and the percentage owning a pickup truck. Ohio was most like Pennsylvania when it came to the percentage of citizens who shop at Wal-Mart regularly but it ranked much lower when it came to the percentage of the state's population that were invested in the stock market. Virginia looked very much like Pennsylvania when it came to Wal-Mart shoppers and the percentage of gun owners, but Virginia had more stock owners and PBS watchers than Pennsylvania.

The media and pundits are likely focusing on the Pennsylvania and Ohio comparison because of the geographic closeness of the states, but perhaps a Pennsylvania-Wisconsin comparison is more apt, at least when it comes to some of these cultural measures. Whether Pennsylvania will vote more like Ohio or Wisconsin remains to be seen.


Philip Zakahi said...

Interesting breakdown, I would be interested to see what the relationships would look like just for democrats (or even democratic primary voters).

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