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Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Politics of Beer

The Washington Post reports:
Across Iowa over the past three days, Obama talked about wind power and drought relief and middle-class taxes. But what he really seemed excited about was beer. He bought a round of beers at the fair. He told coffee shop patrons about one of the latest features at the White House: a home brewery. He spoke longingly of the beer he planned to quaff on the bus at the end of the day.
The crowds drank it up. They cheered at every mention, chanting: “Four more beers!”
Why is the president playing up beer?  Some key states (e.g., Wisconsin) have an economic stake in breweries.  The president may also be trying to identify with working-class white voters (sometimes called "beer track" voters) in a way that the teetoaling Romney cannot.

In any case, a lot of Americans consume the stuff.  Gallup reports:
Americans' drinking habits held steady in the past year, with 66% saying they consume alcohol and drinkers consuming just over four alcoholic drinks per week, on average. Beer continues to be Americans' preferred drink, although wine remains a close second, with liquor favored by 22%.
The slight majority of male drinkers, 55%, say they most often drink beer, followed by liquor and wine at 21% and 20%, respectively. Female drinkers have an equally strong preference for wine, with 52% saying they most often drink wine and just over 20% favoring either liquor or beer.
Beer is the beverage of choice among both 18- to 34-year-olds and those aged 35 to 54, while adults aged 55 and older lean more toward wine.