Via Sullivan, here's a map by Goodreads in which they map out reviews of the book "Twilight" by state. Bluer states have more negative reviews of the book; redder states have more positive reviews:
- Why does this map seem to mirror voting patterns so sharply? That is, why do Republicans like "Twilight" while Democrats hate it?
- Why has Utah generated such a disproportionately high number of reviews?
The second one is easy: the author, Stephenie Meyer, is Mormon, and a graduate of BYU. I can only assume that there's been a disproportionate share of buzz about her in Salt Lake City. Still, it's curious that Utah departs from the partisan trend; she has so many readers, but most of them dislike the book.
The first one is trickier. What can account for Republicans liking the book so much more than Democrats do, other than, as Erik Loomis says, "Republicans having horrendous taste in literature"?
Actually, we don't know that. This is a classic case of ecological inference fallacy. It is certainly possible that Republicans like the book more than Democrats do, but the map can be deceiving. The people in these states who vote in presidential elections may not be the ones who register opinions on Goodreads. Indeed, a goodly number of "Twilight" readers are probably under 18.
The only way we can really test the partisan connection is to examine individual level data, and Goodreads (regrettably) does not collect data on party ID. Still, there might be a way to infer party ID from Goodreads profiles, perhaps by looking for hints of political preferences in the "about me" section. If Gary King or some other enterprising individual would like to work on this, have at it.