Americans may be more divided than ever along partisan political
lines, but both Democrats and Republicans seems to share a love of technology
and consumer electronics (CE) devices according to new research from the
Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) that found similar levels of ownership
and purchasing plans for both parties.
The study found slight overall differences in spending, with
Democrats spending $779 on CE products during the past year and Republicans
$747, and some variation in the types of products they own, with Republicans
reporting higher levels of ownership of smartphones, digital cameras, HDTVs and
But some CE products, such as cellphones and portable MP3
players, showed no partisan shift between Democrats or Republicans. And, very
importantly, the differences in ownership rates or spending disappeared when
household size, income and other variables were taken into account.
Overall the study found that "after holding other variables
constant, only TV ownership rates remain statistically different between
self-identifying Republicans (99% ownership) and Democrats (97% ownership)."
"Despite all the potential things that can divide us as a
country, the one thing that Democrats and Republicans clearly agree on is
technology," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CEA in a statement.
"Technology and innovation unite us as a country. Our results make clear that
despite many political differences, tech spending and CE ownership is largely
uninfluenced by political party affiliation."
The data also showed little difference in holiday shopping
plans. "Members of both parties plan to start their holiday shopping around
Black Friday weekend," the CEA reported. "Shoppers associating with both
parties plan to allocate a similar amount of money to technology gifts" and
"party affiliation also had no impact on holiday wish lists," with Democrats
and Republicans equally likely to give smartphones, tablets and other devices.
In terms of their shopping habits, respondents from both
parties were also equally likely to shop online and to look for promotions on
social media sites.
The data was collected from CEA's 14th Annual Household CE
Ownership and Market Potential Study (April 2012), which was conducted between
Jan. 26-30, 2012, and CEA's 19th Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns Study (October
2012), which was conducted in September 2012.