Bernie Sanders, and How Indian Food Can Predict Vote Choice

Seemingly nonpolitical topics can shed light on political preferences.

Comments: 115

  1. This seems rather nonsensical. It only appears to work in Iowa because it is a state with a limited number of urban areas where education and affluence are clustered. It's effectively not different than comparing choice in Des Moines to choice in an especially distant rural county. Good luck with this model in New Jersey.

  2. @KS Nobody asks us in NJ. Our primary is June 6th. No need to come up with a silly predictive, since by that time the decision will be made for us.

  3. @KS new Jersey may be an outlier, due to the large density of excellent Indian restaurants (and Indians who eat there). But I observed the trend in medium-sized Pittsburgh as well, which has a moderate number of good to excellent Indian (and other ethnic) restaurants. As an example of the extreme statistical tail, I worked with a young conservative Christian woman who had never even tried Indian food (and had no interest) despite living in Pgh for several years. I think the relationship between ethnic food and liberalism is the willingness to try new things and consider new ideas, as opposed to the fear-based psychology of conservatives (who in controlled experiments show a much stronger "disgust" response to many things). Another explanation is that trying ethnic food often correlates with meeting immigrants and people of other races, or venturing into unfamiliar neighborhoods, so that works against racism and xenophobia.

  4. @KS "Still, this relationship persists even after accounting for age, race, gender, education, ideology, being an independent, or where a person lives in the state." So the difference appears even after controlling for whether someone lives in Des Moines or in the middle of nowhere. And they're asking whether you ate Indian in the last ten years - plenty of time even for rural people to have occasionally visited a city.

  5. It would make sense that generally speaking people who are astronomically adventurous would be more open to new ideas in politics. I love Indian food and I also like Bernie Sanders. Of course like everything else there are outliers. My husband is generally liberal but he is suspicious of any food that he didn't eat when he was twelve years old. He is now sixty. His brother on the other hand became an evangelical Christian in middle age and a fervent Trump supporter but he and his equally conservative wife are big health food freaks and absolutely love exotic cuisines. Food has been a safe area of conversation for us when we visit them, well except for my husband who becomes outnumbered by people who think that donuts are not a good foundation for a healthy diet. At any rate it's interesting data.

  6. For someone whose always been kind of picky about food (don't bring up the subject of broccoli...), I've always been intrigued by foreign cuisine. I had my first exposure to Mexican (as opposed to Tex-Mex) and Korean in the mid-70s. I dove headfirst into Asian cooking as soon as I moved to the Chicago area in the late 70s. I still refuse to come up. It took me 20 years to become a rabid anti-Republican.

  7. Some of us among those who were born back when the earth was cooling remember the Vietnam era, when the length of your hair and the shape of your pant-legs clearly revealed your politics. In times when such things are true, the depth of political division is very high. It’s not good.

  8. Where does this leave us with the Minnesota hot dish and the casserole?

  9. @saurus Good question! I am a Klobuchar supporter, I grew up in Minnesota and ate a lot of hot dish. But - put in the asterisk - that was also 1950s and early 60s when Campbell's mushroom soup flavored casseroles all over America. I'm pleased that Amy was a net plus on supporters who eat Indian cuisine. She can reach across the spectrum and get support from those who eat fried pork on a stick and those who will eat samosas, dosas, and saag paneer.

  10. @saurus Waiting for the Hmong- and Somali-inspired recipes!

  11. @saurus I don't have an answer for that, but I enjoyed our tuna casserole last evening (our family's version of the Minnesota hot dish) - and have eaten at Indian, Thai, and Mexican restaurants to name a few, more time than I can count over the last 10 years. Some of us enjoy a variety of flavors - and eating out!

  12. Interesting, everybody has the perfect prediction tool until it doesn't work. Well at least I hope they ate Indian food for the taste and flavors, if they like Bernie or Liz, even better.

  13. Yeah, a candidate's supporters who skew older don't like spicy? Not a stop the presses moment. Let's talk about the candidate matching quiz somewhere. It is more silly than this. The only thing that matters in this moment is getting rid of Trump.

  14. @br - Read the graphic. They controlled for age. This means that they included people's age data in the regression equations to take it out as a factor. Of course it isn't Indian food per se, but worldliness, or openness to the world or openness to new things.

  15. This has little to do with "celebrating cultures" as you suggest and much to do with geography. Many urban older people who do not like Indian food have been taken to those restaurants by friends, children, co-workers, while rural people who live far from Indian restaurants might never go. It just has to do with urban vs rural and little more.

  16. @Omar Ghaffar I don't think what you said is true. The article indicates that the study corrected for "where people live" so urban vs. rural wouldn't explain the correlation. "Still, this relationship persists even after accounting for age, race, gender, education, ideology, being an independent, or *where a person lives in the state*."

  17. To those who think the correlation has to do with geography, age, education level, etc.: read the article. It says the predictive value of the Indian-restaurant factor for which candidate you support holds even after controlling for "age, race, gender, education, ideology, being an independent, or where a person lives in the state."

  18. @ab - As I wrote in another post, it likely reflects openness, as defined in the OCEAN (Big 5, CANOE) trait inventory. Cosmopolitanism is another way of framing, if not entirely, elements of openness to experiencing the world, ideas, and differences...

  19. "Questions about food, travel and the kinds of sportspeople engage in can be used as an index of someone’s local versus cosmopolitan orientation" Agree, that could also be an index of their educational level, whether they are college-educated or not. You can expect that college-educated would be more cosmopolitan.

  20. @Padman Where does Don Trump Jr fit into this, I wonder?

  21. A real Vindaloo is usually not what you find at even very good Indian restaurants, I've found. The time needed to marinate the meat and include all the complex spices has instead given rise to wonderful curries called that, but not really Vindaloo, with its signature layers of Cardamom, Cinnamon, vinegar. I did however recently find a wonderful exception to this in Cary NC! To tie back to topic, trying to find such a demanding dish worthy of its Portuguese and Goan beginnings is like trying to dial in the perfect candidate. I personally love heat-- it's my medicine, but heat is not everything.

  22. @whowhatwhere Where in Cary?!

  23. @Abbie Chatham Square -- Himalayan Nepali Cuisine is the name of the restaurant. I ordered Chicken Vindaloo take-out on a recent trip and was blown away! Cheers

  24. @whowhatwhere Thanks, on my way there soon! Plan on voting for Bernie as well.

  25. This is news to some people. Trying Indian food, other than being an interesting outlier, likely reflects personality, one's willingness to try new things, called Openness in the OCEAN (Big 5, CANOE) trait inventory. Some personality traits have correlations with political choices and in prior elections, some of the OCEAN traits, openness to experience and conscientiousness, predicted liberal and conservative tendencies, the former more strongly than the latter. Many of these things overlap, so gender, age, education, ethnicity, and religiosity overlap with personality, location, and political orientation. Cosmopolitan is just another way of framing, if not entirely, some elements of openness to experiencing the world, to ideas, to difference...

  26. I live in Germany (not in a military enclave) and vote by mail. When I took my ballot to the post office in 2012, the clerk took my sealed envelope and casually commented, "Another vote for Obama." He was right. I had Indian food two nights ago, and yes, I'm definitely going to vote for Warren or Sanders.

  27. I love Indian food and I also love Biden. That's not because I fear change, it is because I am a pragmatist a president who can work effectively with Congress to pass laws. I'm afraid that the approach of either Sanders or Warren will just alienate Congress. I'm also not so sure Biden has been tarnished by the impeachment process, despite the fact that the Trump's defense team is trying very hard to tarnish him. If this were a court trial, much of their material would be ruled irrelevant and not allowed. Having said all that I will vote for whoever is chosen by Democrats because the one thing I am sure of is that I will not vote for Trump!

  28. It is also interesting that my Republican relatives could check off all the boxes for being a cosmopolitan Sanders supporter. Nothing could be farther from the truth! Thankfully, they also aren't Trump supporters.

  29. Unfortunately what Biden wants to pass is Social Security cuts (he's been trying for decades) and ending free speech on the internet. That's why I can't vote for Biden.

  30. @Melvin, I hope you will vote for whoever the Democratic candidate is, no matter who. It's important. Otherwise you are voting for Trump and he has said he would cut Social Security and Medicare.

  31. It is of course a correlation but not a cause and effect. The real underlying difference is a person's degree of openness to differences and diversity, and willingness to try unfamiliar things and learn more about, and embrace, the larger world. Those who embrace change and differences tend toward being "liberals"; those who fear them or at least choose to avoid them tend to be "conservatives." There are probably a million ways to measure that propensity; among, let's say, white voters in Iowa, the amount of Indian food eating is just one.

  32. Random nerd comment, but this is very similar to a character in the old Star Wars novels from the 1990s. Grand Admiral Thrawn would analyze a species culture, especially it's art, to determine their weaknesses in battle. Doing this makes perfect sense, societal habits should directly reflect upbringing and ideals, so their choice for president shouldn't be far off.

  33. The main thrust of this article is so obvious as to be of doubtful significance. But the point about tech entrepreneurs being “cosmopolitan” and so have salutary social effects is of doubtful accuracy, and betrays an obsolete blind tech optimism. We know for a FACT that their workplaces, and the tools they’ve been building for the last few decades, are rife with racial and gender bias and exploitative features. Most people who get VC funding are white and male from elite institutions and wealth, gifted to them by people like them. And while they may live in SF, NYC, London, or other famously diverse and “cosmopolitan” places, these places are quickly becoming too expensive for working class immigrants and people of color to live in, as they move freely, being openly racist and misogynistic. These guys walk around like they own the place, and they believe they do. It’s totally untrue that they have progressive economic views as a class—the “entrepreneurs” believe that they should be given the blessing by the state to make their own currencies, and they are allergic to paying taxes. They’ve fought the state tooth and nail to avoid fees and licensing requirements and to correctly classify their employees. So no, thank you: tech entrepreneurs can enjoy their Indian food or whatever, but their influence on culture has largely amounted to appropriation and marketization and is not connected to the lives of communities of color in any way but the most superficial.

  34. I like Indian food. Unfortunately there isn't an Indian restaurant convenient to my home that I like. It seems like access to good Indian food is a factor not being fully taken into account. Any word on Thai food and presidential hopefuls?

  35. @Gerry Power The study's question was about eating Indian food in the LAST TEN YEARS. That time frame should account for all but the most shut-in person. Your handle shows "Philadelphia"...I find it hard to believe that there isn't an Indian restaurant "convenient enough to your home" to visit once in the last decade. The poll question: "Have you eaten at an Indian restaurant in the last 10 years? "

  36. This is hardly revelatory. Obviously political attitudes are related to matters of culture, including preferences in food, clothing and literature.

  37. I'm an ordinary American who lived in England for seven years from the mid-1970's to the early 1980's. I did my doctorate at an English university and then taught there for three years. At a time when British cuisine was hardly a reason for remaining that long (au contraire!) -- things have improved remarkably in the past 30-40 years -- I literally survived on Indian food, eating at my favorite Indian or Bangladeshi restaurant several nights a week and grew to love it. But this piece cites dreaded vindaloo. While I'm arguably generalizing much too far from my own experience, for the record, I have yet to meet a single American who could swallow so much as a bite of amazingly hot and spicy vindaloo. Madras was as far as we could go. Whenever I or friends would decide to enter the breach once more and order vindaloo, the waiter or manager would warn us off. Was this Occidentalist racism? Nope. It was meant entirely for our own good. There's also a message in this for choosing candidates, assuming one still cares about honesty. If ANY candidate brags of their love of vindaloo -- you are listening to a liar.

  38. @Dr. Svetistephen -- I went to England in 1987 on business, and the best meal I had was at an Indian restaurant. The only decent meal, actually. Pub food was inedible. We tried an Italian place in the town outside London where our sales office was located, but the meal was so anglicized that it came with boiled potatoes on the plate, in addition to pasta!

  39. "When was the last time you had vindaloo or tandoori chicken?" Indian food is one thing and vindaloo is something else. Vindaloo curry is too extreme for my taste. But I would like to vote for a candidate who was that extreme. It is only reasonable to be that extreme, in the context of American politics. The Democrat party will never give me that option. I hope it dies.

  40. Mildly amusing. We slice and dice the American electorate into all of these sub-divisions based on criteria that often seems absurd when talking about an election where our focus should be on who best understands how our government is supposed to work. We, as a nation, need to retake the common ground instead of isolation in our own little circles of like-minded thinkers. In those circles there is no room for compromise - those circles think that they have the only answer to complex problems that have bedeviled us since Lexington-Concord. Is a person who goes to a Tex-Mex restaurant more likely to vote for Trump? Should we boycott those restaurants because "conservatives eat there? Should the conservatives start protesting in front of the Vindaloo Cafe? Are we going to make food choices political? Yes, we can find division wherever we look for it. We can magnify it, tear the nation into minute shreds and who really wins? Let's cultivate the common ground instead of building walls between the rows to clearly define them from us. My guess is that folks like Putin are having a good laugh - America, democracy, what a joke...

  41. I like the co-relation! It only goes to show that progressive are, yes, willing to try something outside their spectrum of food choices. It would be boring if everyone ate just hamburgers and french fries!

  42. I dislike non-causative correlations like this. Yes we can hypothesize about two and three step causation but those can and should to be tested too. Also as a first generation American of Indian origin, I am highly suspicious about Sanders. He has hung around Castro and Chavez in his formative years as a politician. He now has a Pakistani American as his chief advisor who has blinded him to the terrorist friendly regimes there. Sanders is wholly unfit to be President and I will most certainly not vote for him ever. I have voted for Clinton, Gore, Kerry, and of course volunteered/contributed and voted for Obama twice. I held my nose and voted for Hillary (actually Hectored by my wife and daughter). But I draw the line on Sanders and hope the Dems will nominate Biden or anyone else even Bloomberg so I can join in voting Trump out of office.

  43. "When was the last time you had vindaloo or tandoori chicken?" I read that and thought, it's been a while. Why would anyone order Americanized Indian food in New York? Gowangetoudahere. Chicken korma? Fuggedaboudit. There's so much more authentic Indian food here in "The City". But I was born in Iowa and raised in Ohio so I guess I've been an interloper since the 1980s. So I'd pick Biden over Bernie in a New York minute.

  44. Indian food in the past ten years is a really large window of time. I do not understand 60% of Biden supporters. They need some spice in their life.

  45. What is the rhetorical purpose of this otherwise insignificant article about an equally insignificant survery? Why inject race and culture into a presidential race already over-burdened with prejudice, cultural cleavage, and mistrust of anything "foreign". It serves no useful purpose, other than to consciously foment and reinforce at an unconscious level stereotypical thinking. AND, it doesn't pass the test: who cares?

  46. Pretty big margin of error here. The total sample was 584, so around 100-150 for the higher ranking candidates. +/- 7-10%

  47. What does it say about your politics if you prefer a mild Saag Paneer over a fiery Vindaloo?

  48. "Hot dish Amy" take note.

  49. @theresa What an unhealthy dish Amy Klobuchar's contribution was!

  50. *restaurant

  51. Slow week, Professor?

  52. Well of course, those who "feel the Bern" are going to like a nice hot vindaloo,

  53. I love Indian food, have been to 23 foreign countries in 3 continents, lived abroad for 5 years, and graduated from UCLA summa cum laude with a foreign language degree. I'm voting for Trump again in 2020.

  54. @Chris Yet you don't understant that statistics are about populations, and not individuals...

  55. I eat Indian food almost every day and your own quiz said I prefer Bloomberg!

  56. Best Indian food in the country is off a street vendor by the University in Portland Oregon. A delicious vegetarian meal for five bucks, find a bench, enjoy your meal and watch the next generation go by: I am of course a Bernie Bro and I hope he can turn things around, anything would be an improvement over what the neo liberal and neo conservatives of my generation have done to our poor divided nation and the rest of the world with our endless wars fought for war profiteers and “our allies”, which brings too mind an old Yiddish expression “ with friends like these who needs enemies”. Yup, that sums it up we need Bernie and some new friends.

  57. I'd like to see a breakdown for Indian vegetarian food.

  58. I lived in Iowa from 1984-1999. I know of no Indian restaurant in the state at that time. I'm willing to believe there might have been one in Des Moines, but there was none in Iowa City, a university town.

  59. @Marlena Corcoran, @Marlena Corcoran, when I lived in Iowa from 2006-2010, we went to Iowa City for Indian food!

  60. @Marlena Corcoran, when I lived in Iowa from 2006-2010, we went to Iowa City for Indian food! (And I'll be voting for Bernie Sanders, go figure...)

  61. I'm voting for Bernie because he represents the working class and poor. Not because I have a soft brain, think my life is the sum of my consumer choices, and don't know why I do things. But thanks anyway.

  62. So I'm guessing that Chinese and Mexican restaurants are too "mainstream" to be of any predictive value; Ethiopian is probably not available much in Iowa. There was one reference to voters for whom Indian food "tastes of home" but it's possible they stay away from Indian restaurants because they prefer it home-cooked.

  63. @Jackie Coolidge, the first Ethiopian restaurant I ever went to was in South Dakota. You've got to be more open minded!

  64. Why would I eat in an Indian restaurant when my Indian daughter-in-law makes wonderful Indian food at home? More seriously, this one question may reveal how cosmopolitan and open one is to new experiences, but it strikes me as less than useful when applied to people in rural areas where there are no Indian or other "exotic" restaurants.

  65. @Barbara -- if I were taking that poll, I would count Indian-at-home as equal to Indian restaurant. I can't honestly recall when I last ate out at an Indian place, but I often eat the food at home.

  66. @Barbara . Congratulations. Your Lucky son has earned a stable, satisfying, long married life.

  67. @Barbara Maybe we can get GrubHub to start flying in interesting cuisine to the battleground stakes. One less hamburger; one more samosa! It could swing the election in the right (I mean Left) direction.

  68. I am actually an Indian, I eat out often at Indian restaurants, traveled to Mexico, Switzerland, France, Canada .... and a Trump voter.

  69. Well, just goes to show it’s not always best to be exclusive. Mix it up!

  70. @Srikanth I am sorry to see that food poisoning somewhere along the line has clouded your judgement and morality, but I am happy to see that you are a diverse eater, and thus may be amenable to change should you somehow come to believe that your choice of President might just have been a colossal mistake. Cheers, and bon appetit!

  71. @JD . I also have a real world experience of living in Sociliast India unlike many others.

  72. So who does someone who MAKES Indian food about once a week vote for?

  73. @Lynn Sherwood hopefully not Modi.

  74. I truly agree with NYTime's view on how you can judge people's choices and decisions on what kind of food they eat.That also reflects what kind of company they keep. It also reflects how open-minded they are to other's views on anything and everything. We all work for eating first then shelter and then other luxuries. I have a very high-end Indian restaurant called Kiran's in Houston and we have both democrats and Republicans, so I can't have that influence my decision on voting but surely I am more open to both the parties as I meet both of them. Kiran Verma Chef & Owner

  75. Most of the workforce - cooks, not just waiters - in the South Indian restaurants my very diverse Northern Calif. city are from South of the border - the border of the US - the Guatemalan lady at my favorite even feeds her kids masala dosa and lassi regularly in the back - I will vote for any Democrat who helps such hard-working human beings integrate productively into American society which is the richer for their energy and enthusiasm.

  76. The quality of food at the average Indian restaurant in the US can only be stomached by those with undiscerning and underdeveloped taste buds. Any Indian would have told the author how mediocre the food tends to be in most Indian restaurants. No wonder then Bernie enjoys most support from students with still underdeveloped critical abilities

  77. @Pundit snobby. There's great Indian food and crappy Indian food, and that can be said for any cuisine, And of course that could easily be said about Indian food in its "native" setting - - I feel confident in asserting that all restaurants and eateries are not created equal. So, without intending disrespect, I think more nuance is called for rather than a universal put-down of available Indian cuisine in the United States.

  78. Mirch Masala — Feel the Bern 2020!

  79. Samosas for Sanders!

  80. Biriyani for Bennet!

  81. My personal favorite — Baighan Bhartha (and Biryani) for Bernie!

  82. Let me predict that tech elites will not make the world more fair despite their cosmopolitanism and curry consumption. Tech elites sure as heck seem to lean libertarian, or what they consider "meritocratic," and I expect that tendency will cancel out all the other "social good" factors your article seems to ascribe to the more culturally aware.

  83. Indian food is for everyone. And it’s much more than just curry. Please try it before you dismiss it as elitist cuisine. Bernie 2020 Not Me. Us.

  84. @Zareen I Agree that Indian food is not elitist - just damned good! Not a fan of Bernie.

  85. Contrary to the claim in the article, technology, in the real world, has increased "income inequality". It has rewarded merit, shall we say it is more Capitalistic. The preaching of liking for the Democrat party seems to be contradictory to the way the techies live their personal lives.

  86. I love this story. Thank you.

  87. I live in a town that votes Republican 70%and is overwhelmingly White. I conduct a Indian cooking class once a month where I cook the recipes in my kitchen for the participants and we all sit down to enjoy them at the lunch that follows. The fee is a donation to the local friends of the public library. I have been doing this for 2 years now and have a loyal membership. We avoid politics during lunch but I suspect that at least 50% of the attendees are Republican voters. The members are over 90% White, well educated and gregarious. I suspect that most are Republican by habit, or because they feel Republicans are under attack, or because they are one issue voters like pro-guns, anti-choice, etc. I feel warmly welcomed by them in this community even though I am an atheist and will admit to it if pressed. I think we should respect the opinions of all voters even when they differ from our own and try to understand what makes them think the way they do. To think that eating Indian food at my house predicts their voting pattern is too simplistic. We should respect and try to understand why their views are different.

  88. Biryani Sanders 2020!!!

  89. And if you don't eat Indian food because there's no such restaurant within 40 miles of your farm you're probably voting for Trump.

  90. How does Indian food predict voting preferences among working-class Latinos? Those I know couldn’t care less about it, and never bothered trying to be appear “cosmopolitan.” Yet none of them voted for Trump.

  91. @Phat Katt This isn't an across-the-board rule, but it's showing how your political beliefs can sometimes be shaped by your cultural influences - or vice versa, who knows, causation hasn't been established. NYT did a similar poll where they showed how few questions they could ask about your demographics before being able to very accurately guess your political affiliation. This is just an extension of that to within one party.

  92. When Christopher Columbus set sail more than 500 years ago, it was in search of Indian food. How apt then, that even today Indian food is a harbinger of good times to come! I know what I am going to do: eat Indian food and vote Bernie. I suggest other readers do the same, if you know what is good for you. Columbus was on to something!

  93. If eating Indian food can have a predictive value in the coming elections, then, God save American Democracy.

  94. India & USA,both nations are the prime examples of thriving democracies and prosperity through strong educational institutions and inputs from people to remain so with people’s elected representatives. Both the nations have absorbed many people from all over the globe & have first hand experiences faced under terrorism. Instead submitting to partisan politics/leaders based upon their individuals/party’s ideology based interests,people need to stick first to nation's interests and wellbeing’s of every citizen and households. Both nations are badly experiencing such divisive politics in practice and need to stop that nonsensical politics ASAP,may be through tasty Indian Cuisines ya commonly used socioeconomic forum to lead all together,not apart from each others for personal scores. God bless both democracies to stand tall and do great for the globe.

  95. I'm probably as liberal as they come, but I like meat and so many of these "exotic" foods, which haven't adapted to American tastes have little or no meat, so I am not a fan. On the other hand, some of the things that sociologists "discover" are remarkable -- that is, remarkable in how obvious they are. But then again, that is why social science is an oxymoron.

  96. Indian food is EXOTIC, seriously, when I find Indians in every nook and cranny in this country - including deep south? Going out for some scrumptious otoro and ama-ebi. Anyone else? By the way NYT predicted I am a Bernie, Warren and Steyer probable!

  97. I have never eaten Indian food and this is the second election that I am for Bernie Sanders. I was fed a diet of FDR and the New Deal when I was a child, and Bernie is the first candidate to espouse new deal policies in my 57 years. Pretty sad to think what the party of FDR has become.

  98. I don't think we can qualify Indian food as a less familiar culture; I think its more likely bernie voters go out to eat more often in general, personal finances aren't their strong suit.

  99. @John Loesch Then you would have to ask about eating out at all. It seems to me also that Indian restaurants are more prevalent in areas where Bernie voters live versus in areas where Biden voters live. Plus Bernie voters tend young and non-black.

  100. @John Loesch I agree Indian diaspora is pretty spread out and then many Indian communities like Gujratis and Punjabis (there are more than a billion of us so of course there are several Indian communities ) are entrepreneurial and so open restaurants at a disproportionately higher level. I am a complete outlier according to the statistical analysis used. I love Indian fare (I am an Indian-Americans and immigrated in late teens to the US so obviously I am partial to the food I grew up eating ) but because of that very FACT, Bernie is my let preferred candidate.

  101. I think Jennifer Aniston and Ben Stiller movie "Along Came Polly" was all about this issue.

  102. Sometimes there are genuinely spurious correlations. Might the correlation of Sanders voters and people who've eaten in an Indian restaurant in the last ten years (!) have something to do with the locations of Indian restaurants in Iowa, university towns like Des Moines or Ames, or the economic/social status of people who eat in slow food restaurants at all and that of Sanders voters, or many other matters. The graph is just too crude. Personally and irrelevant to the issue, I have never gone a year without many Indian meals, but I have gone a year or more without a visit to an Indian restaurant.

  103. I live on an island in Puget sound, population approx 10,000, known for it's leftist population. However, going to an Indian restaurant requires a ferry, a car, and a couple of hours commuting time. Consequently, I have not been out to Indian food in quite some time. However, I cook it at home. Does that count? It strikes me as rather comical, really, that this notion is based in "social science." I am a professional cook who specializes in cooking for elders so they can stay in their homes longer. I am thinking of one couple in particular who are in their late 80's, originally from the midwest, and who will not eat anything but the cuisine of their glory days...the 50's and 60's. They are conservative in their lifestyle but socialist in their belief system. They are the antithesis of what is described here and I can't help but wonder if there aren't others in the same boat. They'll vote Bernie and keep eating casseroles. And I'll continue cooking Indian food at home. I think this whole idea is fascinating in the "we are what we eat" principle, but I think location, financial situation, and personal taste require just a bit more consideration.

  104. We have lived in eight states, two countries and travelled and worked in countries across five continents. Love Indian, Asian and Nepalese, some British and French cuisine, and some of the local fare of the eight states. We left the US shortly after 9-11 (work related) and came back shortly before the 2016 Presidential election - to a way different country. Our perspectives were radically altered by our experiences. We usually voted republican in a majority of national elections prior to leaving (even though we loved experimenting with food), but that all changed. In Trump we see a demigod, and while we understand why that type appeals in some countries - it is sad to see back here in the USA. Understand the ideological appeal of Sanders - but likely will vote for someone more on the spectrum of Pete or Mike - with some practical record of getting things done in the real world, all the whlie enjoying our Nepalese food in Boulder CO.

  105. I have a similar one to identify Republicans. It is their hairdo. If you put a person thru a tornado, they may not come out in one piece, but if their hairdo comes out just as when they went in; then they are a Republican.

  106. The widom of prayerful Indian sages Has been successfully baked in for ages Into its cuisine tasty and phenomenal Nutritious, vegetarian and ecological And the data is finally out in these pages!

  107. The author makes the assumption that the reader is not Indian in reading this article. This "othering" is problematic with this statement "When was the last time you had vindaloo or tandoori chicken? Chances are if you’re a Democrat in Iowa supporting Joe Biden, it has been a while." A less problematic statement would have been "Chances are if you're a non-Indian Democrat in Iowa..." as with a headline like this, a lot of Indians are going to read this article and feel "othered" when it doesn't address us as readers. And contrary to popular belief, there is a significant Indian-American community in Iowa.

  108. I used to like Bernie Sanders, but then I got irritable bowel. Now I cannot eat Indian Food so I am forced to vote for Trump. Trump!

  109. We eat Indian food everyday. We just call it food.

  110. @Madhava Sagamagrama I hope that doesn't include Okra.

  111. @David Gross I saw okra on sale at an Indian grocery store.

  112. So many people in these comments don't seem to understand the difference between data and anecdotes.

  113. @Travis West. The anecdotes correlate with people who have worldly experience and those who are not parochial in their thought processes. Without coming across as elitist, the general fact is that Trump supporters are non-college educated individuals who have little experience outside their local comfort zones.

  114. What a coincidence! I have just ordered delivery from a nearby Indian restaurant. (Lamb samosas, lamb boti (tandoori skewers), chicken vindaloo, and saag - a spinach curry.) I am a 67 year-old white male from Durban, South Africa which has a large Subcontinental diaspora. I learned to make Indian food of all kinds when I was a teenager. I still make them using 'original' masala ingredients which I buy at Indian groceries. I eat Indian food at least once or twice a week. When I immigrated to the U.S. ~35 years ago, I brought with me advanced degrees in science and engineering at no cost to the American taxpayer. I have worked all over the World while based here and created numerous jobs for native born Americans. Although I would not have voted for Bernie, I hope that Biden, et al. prevail and that Trump and his Ilk go the way of the dinosaurs!

  115. The article is not about Indian food per se. it is about the psychological characteristic called “openness to experience” and there is a classroom, solid and rather obvious negative correlation between it and being a Conservative. It is data, not anecdote, to say that Trump supporters are less interested in engaging with and learning about different cultures and people. They travel less and prefer not to know about the world beyond their door.