Harry Potter helped get Obama elected, says professor

Josiah Ryan
Editor-in-Chief Emeritus

College students who watched Harry Potter films or read the books, were much more likely to vote for President Obama than those who had not, a professor at the University of Vermont concluded in a 3-year, 1,100 person, peer-reviewed study.

In the work, titled “Harry Potter and the Millennials: Research Methods and the Politics of the Muggle Generation,” University of Vermont political science Professor Anthony Gierzynski found that 60 percent of students surveyed, who had consumed Harry Potter media, voted for Obama in 2008. Eighty-three percent, meanwhile, viewed then-President  George W. Bush in a negative light.

“The lessons fans internalized about tolerance, diversity, violence, torture, skepticism and authority made the Democratic Party and Barack Obama more appealing to fans of Harry Potter in the current political environment,” Gierzynski explained in an interview with the conservative college news site The College Fix.

The study was conducted from 2009 to 2011 at seven U.S. schools. The results were published in an 82-page book which is available for purchase for $39.36 on Amazon.

One reviewer, political science Professor M. Kent Jennings at the  University of California, Santa Barbara, noted that Gierzynski’s study is likely the only “serious” study on the effect of Harry Potter on students.

“To my knowledge, this is the only serious attempt to gauge the political impact of the Harry Potter craze among pre-adults,” he commented.

In Gierzynski’s interview with The College Fix, meanwhile, he offered advice to Republicans on how to recapture the Harry Potter vote.

“Republicans could win back some Millennial Harry Potter fans if they move away from the far right side of their party,” he says.

Neither Gierzynski or the University of Vermont responded to Campus Reform's request for comment in time for publication. 

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @JosiahRyan

H/T: The College Fix





Josiah Ryan

Josiah Ryan

Editor-in-Chief Emeritus
Josiah Ryan is a former editor-in-chief for Campus Reform, and former director of communications for LI's Campus Leadership Program. Previously Josiah reported on the U.S. Senate for The Hill newspaper in Washington D.C. and was the cofounder of The Floor Action blog, a live-stream on policy, politics, and procedure in the upper chamber.
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