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Bushies love 'Raymond'
New study aims to rank top TV shows loved by Republicans, Democrats and those crucial "undecideds."
September 1, 2004: 12:43 PM EDT
By Krysten Crawford, CNN/Money staff writer

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NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Looking to sway a few undecided voters? Take a highly controversial ad financed by an outside group, buy a few time slots in Ohio -- and make sure it airs on "Everybody Loves Raymond."

That's because, according to a recent study, those prized uncommitted voters sitting on their battleground couches are watching Ray Romano fend off his overbearing mother, week after week after week.

When it comes to comedies, Republicans also seem to get a kick out of "Raymond."

Dems? They like "Will & Grace."

These findings come from global media buying firm Initiative Media Worldwide, which ranked TV viewing preferences by Democrats, Republicans -- and the holdouts.

Undecided voters also are tuning in regularly to "My Wife and Kids," the half-hour comedy starring Damon Wayans; "CSI: Miami," the crime scene drama; "Jag," about lawyers investigating military crimes; and "Will & Grace," the comedy about four neurotic New Yorkers careening through life.

Another favorite pasttime among undecided voters: Watching masochistic contestants drink squid ink from each other's mouths on "Fear Factor." Other reality favorites for the group are "Who Wants to Marry My Dad?" and "For Love & Money."

In addition to Raymond, Republicans also like "8 Simple Rules" and "2 1/2 Men." And they're watching "Jag" for drama and "Amazing Race" for reality.

Democrats favor "Judging Amy" for drama and "Extreme Makeover" for reality.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the source of the survey on television viewing habits of voters. The company is Initiative Media Worldwide, not Interactive Media Worldwide.

The results, if accurate, could be enormously valuable heading into what looks like a very tight race for the White House. Political pundits have pinpointed roughly 10 states, including Ohio and Florida, that could decide the presidential race between President Bush and the Democrat contender John Kerry, the Massachusetts senator.

Already this election year is shaping up as a record for political advertising. Analysts estimate that more than $1.5 billion will be spent on political ads this election cycle. Local markets, especially those within the swing states, are already the primary beneficiaries of those ad dollars.

All of which makes the Initiative study especially intriguing.

Entertainment (general)

Initiative said it based its conclusions on an Internet survey of 1,000 consumers in mid-July. The company grouped results into two main categories -- genre and the political issues that Republicans, Democrats and independents care about most.

For instance, undecided voters who worry about national security tune in to "Everybody Loves Raymond," according to the study. Republicans who care about family values watch "Joan of Arcadia." Democrats concerned about health care escape with "Monk," a cable show that happens to be about an obsessive compulsive hypochondriac.

Overall, Initiative said research shows that "undecided voters have a tendency to watch shows that have ethnic appeal." They are also drawn to animation, reality TV and talk shows.  Top of page

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