IFOCE Poll: Election Driving Americans to Drink

More than 50 percent of Americans report that they have increased their consumption of alcoholic beverages as a result of the presidential election, according to a new nationwide poll.

The survey, conducted by the research arm of the International Federation of Competitive Eating, the body that oversees all stomach-centric sport, also shows that Americans are likely to drink more alcohol than usual if Trump is elected president. Notably, the electorate reported they’d prefer have a drink with Bill Clinton over Donald Trump and Melania Trump. Hillary Clinton was ranked fourth of the four people in this category.

In the poll, which was conducted over ten days in September, 52 percent of respondents said the current presidential election has led to an increase in their consumption of beer, wine and/or other alcoholic beverages.

Of that group, nearly 26 percent cited stress from the election as the reason they’re drinking has increased, while nearly 23 percent reported that they’re drinking more because they’re discussing the election in social settings (at bars and social gatherings). Meanwhile, 20 percent said the reason for their increased drinking is that the election is entertaining.

“While I am not a scientist, or a pollster, I was shocked at the impact of the election on alcohol consumption and, seemingly, our nation’s mental health,” said Richard Shea, president of the IFOCE. “If this survey has taught us anything, it is that presidential politics, like competitive eating itself, has a direct and lasting impact on American culture.”

When respondents were asked what type of alcoholic beverage they thought supporters of each candidate might prefer, 71 percent selected wine as the beverage of choice for Hillary Clinton supporters, and 58 percent selected beer as the preferred beverage of Trump supporters.

It appears that increased drinking will continue through November 8th, with 67 percent of respondents answering yes to the following question: “Do you plan to drink while watching the debates?” When respondents were asked if they planned to drink while viewing the election results, 67 percent responded in the affirmative.

In a head-to-head match-up between the two candidates, Donald Trump was the most sought after drinking buddy, with a majority of voters (56 percent) saying they’d most like to have a drink with him compared to 43 percent for Hillary Clinton.

However, when respondents were asked which candidate’s spouse they would most like to have a drink with, 65.4 percent selected Bill Clinton and 34.6 percent selected Melania Trump. When the question was broadened to include both candidates and their spouses, the former president remained the most popular choice, with 33.2 percent of respondents saying they’d like to have a drink with Bill Clinton, followed by Donald Trump (32.7 percent), Hillary Clinton (20.8 percent), and Melania Trump (13.3 percent.)

Respondents were also asked if they thought the result of the election would impact their drinking habits over the next four years. A full 55 percent said that if Donald Trump is elected they would likely drink more than usual over the next four years, while 40 percent said it wouldn’t impact their drinking, and 5 percent predicted a Trump presidency would cause them to drink less. Just over 57 percent of respondents said that if Hillary Clinton is elected president their drinking over the next four years would not be impacted, while 24 percent said their drinking would increase, and 18 percent said they would drink less.

Poll Methodology

The IFOCE poll, conducted via Survey Gizmo from September 10 through September 20, 2016, gathered 230 responses from individuals representing 40 states, including California, Florida, New York and Texas. Party affiliation was closely split, with 39 percent of respondents identifying as democrats, 38 percent identifying as republicans and the remaining claiming no party affiliation. Nearly 50 percent of respondents were between the ages of 21 and 40, with 39 percent between 40 and 60 years of age, and 40 percent of respondents were female, 55 percent were male and the remaining preferring not to disclose a gender. It is calculated that the margin of error in the poll is significantly greater than the margin of error in other national presidential polls.