Conservative Republicans like more reality TV than liberals, and the shows are surprising

Conservative Republicans like reality TV shows more than liberal Democrats, according to new research, but the shows that Republicans watch range from the preditable (History’s Top Shot) to the surprising (The Bachelor, Dancing with the Stars‘ results show only).

A study by Experian Simmons studies the top 25 shows among conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats from the summer of 2010 to 2011. A similar survey four years ago found several reality series that everyone loved, regardless of party affiliation, but now the lists are pretty divergent.

On the list of the top 20 most popular TV shows among liberal Democrats, there is a single reality show: Lifetime’s Project Runway. The rest of the list is populated primarily by comedy programming such as The Daily Show, Parks and Recreation, The View, Glee, Modern Family, Cougar Town, and The Soup.

But conservative Republicans love all kinds of reality TV, as about half of their top 25 shows are reality TV. They include, in order of popularity, Swamp Loggers, Top Shot, The Bachelor, Mythbusters, Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy, American Pickers, Swamp People, Top Gear, Pawn Stars, The Biggest Loser, Dancing with the Stars‘ results show, Man vs. Wild, and Auction Kings.

The least-favorite shows of Republicans include Jersey Shore and Bridezillas, while Democrats dislike Swamp Loggers, Dog the Bounty Hunter, The Ultimate Fighter, Kitchen Nightmares, Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, and The Haunted.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.