I just discovered that there are 213,121 registered voters named Howard. Far more importantly, I learned that Howards lean left, if only slightly, with 50.3% identifying as Democrats and 49.7% identifying as Republicans.
Where did I come across this treasure trove of sociopolitical information? From a Washington Post blog post by Reid Wilson, which includes an applet from Clarity Campaign Labs.
The company used data from party voter files across the country to check out how first names correlate with voting habits, and they came up with a fantastic — and fantastically addictive — tool to play with.
To use the applet, you type your first name in the field provided and click away.
I tried out several different names to see how adept I was at predicting party affiliation and other social tendencies. (The applet also touches on guns, religion, and higher education.)
Here is what the applet came up with for the name Tawana: There are 7,409 registered voters so named. The vast majority — 85.9% — are Democrats, while 14.2% are Republicans. There is a 48.3% probability that Tawana will have a college degree, a 57.1% probability that she will have a gun in her home, and a 23,4 chance that she attends religious services weekly.