Return Path Data Reveals Democrats’ Caffeine Addiction, Republicans’ Love for Chili’s

Email data uncovers political trends in media, pizza consumption: Dems call Papa John’s, GOP Favors Domino’s

NEW YORK--()--As the world’s leading email analytics company, Return Path is uniquely positioned to find patterns and preferences in email data – including insight into American voters’ consumption of media and of pizza. By comparing more than 50,000 inboxes of subscribers to and, the company identified key differences in tastes and trends among the electorate.

Republicans Outclicked, Outspent

In general higher percentages of Democrats were affiliated with social networks, online shopping brands, restaurants, games, and news and entertainment media. They bought more, too. In this study Democrats’ inboxes confirmed more than 220,000 transactions (6.1 per account) vs. fewer than 82,000 by Republicans (4.8 per account) – 27% more per account. Nonetheless there were clear examples of brands and behaviors that Republicans favored.

Democrats Get More News That’s Fit to Print

Subscribers to are more likely to get mail from the Tehran Times (4%) than subscribers are to get mail from the New York Times (3%). Democrats get more mail from news organizations in general, favoring the Times and the Washington Post. More Republicans got mail from the Washington Times (4%) than the Post.

        Democrats       Republicans
New York Times       9%       3%
Washington Post       5%       2%
LA Times       5%       4%
Fox News       0.4%       3%

Fewer Republicans Crush Candy

Regardless of party affiliation, Zynga’s presence in subscribers’ inboxes overshadows competitors, but while the Farmville creator reaches Democrats and Republicans more or less equally, messages from King (Candy Crush) land in more Democrats’ inboxes (9% vs. 6% of Republicans).

        Democrats       Republicans
King (Candy Crush)       9%       6%
Blizzard (World of Warcraft)       1%       1%
Zynga (Farmville)       15%       14%

Democrats More Socially Networked

Nearly three-quarters (73%) of accounts that receive mail from also get messages from Facebook, while less than two-thirds (63%) of do. Roughly half of Democrats regularly hear from LinkedIn (53% vs. 33% of Republicans) and Twitter (49% vs. 36% of Republicans). Pinterest (41% of Democrats vs. 34% of Republicans) and Tumblr (6% of Democrats vs. 3% of Republicans) follow similar patterns.

        Democrats       Republicans
Facebook       73%       63%
LinkedIn       53%       33%
Twitter       49%       36%
Pinterest       41%       34%
Tumblr       6%       3%

Republicans Caucus with at Chili’s, Democrats at Starbucks

Virtual coffee rings are more likely to appear in Democrats’ email accounts: 16% get messages from Starbucks vs. 10% of Republicans. For casual dining Chili’s is the Republicans’ favorite, showing up in 14% of their inboxes vs. only 9% of Democrats’. More Republicans (7%) turn to Domino’s for pizza (vs. only 3% of Democrats), while more Democrats call Papa John’s (8% vs. 6% of Republicans) or Pizza Hut (5% vs. 3% of Republicans). Subscribers reached consensus on Orange Julius, Baskin Robbins, and Little Debbie.

        Democrats       Republicans
Starbucks       16%       10%
Dunkin’ Donuts       3%       2%
Subway       8%       6%
Chili’s       9%       14%
Papa John’s       8%       6%
Domino’s       3%       7%
Pizza Hut       5%       3%
Red Lobster       4%       2%
Outback       3%       3%
Ruby Tuesday’s       3%       3%
Orange Julius       2%       2%
Baskin Robbins       2%       2%
Little Debbie       1%       1%


Return Path analyzed the aggregated and anonymized email message headers within 16,973 accounts that received messages from, and 36,734 accounts that received messages from between September 1 and October 27, 2014. (Only 641 accounts got messages from both.) Using these subscriptions as indications of party affiliation, Return Path compared the email senders held in common by these groups to identify shared preferences and distinctions.

About Return Path

Return Path analyzes the world's largest collection of email data to show marketers how to stay connected to their audiences, strengthen their customer engagement, and protect their brands from fraud. Our solutions help mailbox providers around the world deliver great user experiences and build trust in email by ensuring that wanted messages reach the inbox while spam and abuse don't. Consumers use Return Path technology to manage their inboxes and make email work better for them. Find out more about Return Path at


Return Path
Peter Girard, +1-646-367-3923
Weber Shandwick for Return Path
Samantha Evans, +1-212-445-8019


Return Path
Peter Girard, +1-646-367-3923
Weber Shandwick for Return Path
Samantha Evans, +1-212-445-8019