From Reagan to Kennedy: Liberal and Conservative Baby Names

Ronald Reagan left office in 1989.  John Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.

Still, conservatives maintain a strong place in their heart for President Reagan; liberals a strong admiration for President Kennedy (as well as his political family).

How do we know this?  Using Circle of Moms Child Space data, of course.  We looked at the names parents give to their children.  Notably, Reagan (usually a girl’s name), is the most conservative among the top 250 names Circle of Moms’ mothers have given to their kids: 89% of mothers of children named Reagan identify themselves as conservative or Republican.

On the other side of the coin, Kennedy — also usually a girl’s name — stands as the #11 most liberal name, with 67% of “moms of Kennedy” identifying themselves as liberal or Democratic.

Jalen — which has no political associations we’re aware of — is the most liberal boy’s name, weighing in at 94% liberal.  Colton is the most conservative boy’s name, at 81% conservative.

Fear not, Sarah Palin fans (and haters): Sarah is the second most conservative female name, after Reagan.  Numbers three and four are also Biblical names: Rachel and Rebecca.

After Colton, Scott and Matt are the most conservative names for boys.

The most liberal names for girls are Jada, Maya, and Jasmine; for boys, the most liberal names after Jaden are Xavier and Julian.

Interestingly, common names tend to be favored among conservative moms, while less common names are more common among liberal moms.  All of the top ten most common girls’ names (Sarah, Hannah, Emily, Jessica, Lauren, Madison, Emma, Samantha, Ashley, Taylor, Olivia) are more common among conservatives than among liberals.  And nine of the top ten boys’ names (Matthew, Andrew, Jacob, Noah, Joshua, Ryan, Tyler, Ethan, Michael, and Christopher) are more common among conservatives, while only one (Jordan) is more common among liberals.

Moms who have given their kids uncommon names — names held by less than one in 10,000 Americans — tend to be more liberal.  Nearly half of all children have uncommon names (names at least as rare as Ray, Camron, Sky, Isis, and Jarrod).  And a substantial majority — 58% — of those kids are the children of liberal mothers.

Data for the 1000+ most common names can be accessed using the links below.

Liberal and Conservative Baby Names by Ideology

Liberal and Conservative Baby Names by Name Frequency

Liberal and Conservative Baby Names Sorted Alphabetically

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11 Responses to “From Reagan to Kennedy: Liberal and Conservative Baby Names”


  1. 1 Jessi March 10, 2010 at 2:17 am

    My sons name is Alexavier, because I wanted Xavier and my husband wanted Alexander. We met in the middle. We call him Xavie. :) Apparently it means “owner of a new house.” We really were not as intrested in the meaning of the name as much as the meaning it has for us…shareing the expirence of parenthood! Oddly though…we are moderate conservatives, though I see Xavier is a more liberal name.

  2. 2 Courtney March 10, 2010 at 2:28 am

    I wanted to name our daughter McKayla, but my husband liked just Kayla. My whole reason was for it to begin with an “M” after my husband, “Matthew”. So he suggested we spell Kayla as Cayla after me, Courtney. Same meaning, just different spelling. I see alot of Courtney’s spelt with a “K” or “C” so i figured the same could go for Cayla. Our daughter is Cayla Renae :)

  3. 3 Tarysha March 10, 2010 at 4:10 am

    My daughter’s name is Myka Marie. I wanted something unique and Biblical. I loved the name Micah, so put a more feminine spin on it (my mom and Myka’s godmother helped) and Marie just flowed. Her name means “Who is like God.” Personally, I find it very unique, just like Myka.

  4. 4 Josie March 10, 2010 at 9:52 am

    My daughters name is Kennedy but we are REPUBLICANs to the core.

  5. 5 Rosemary March 10, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Our son is Nile Jordan (two rivers) and our daughter is Rebecca Liberty-Rose. I bet you can’t figure out if we are Liberal or Conservative :)

  6. 6 Leslie March 10, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    My sons name is Shannan Jacob Thomas. The “A” in his first name instead of an “O” is for the “A” in his fathers name Kevan. We also like it because it represents my Irish heritage. The two middle names are after his paternal and maternal “Great Grandfathers”. My daughter however has quite the unusual and very unique first name. Culzean Cathleen Gynile. Culzean comes from the origin of Scotland. My husband and I were unsure as to what we were going to name our second child if it were a girl. My sister had just recently come back from visiting Scotland, and she toured Castle Culzean. My husband and I took one look at the pamphlets that my sister had brought to show us, and we were set on the name. It fits her personality to a tea. The two middle names are after her maternal “Great Grandmothers. If you are interested in my daughters first name, take the time to visit the Castle on the world wide web. You will not be disappointed. It is a fantastic tour and the history behind it is absolutely awesome. Like I said it fits my daughters personality to a tea. By the way, we are very conservative

  7. 7 Tiffanie March 12, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    My Daughters name is Jayme Breeann, She is sorta named after my pawpaw my dad and my lil brother all their names are James, we just wanted to girlie it up with Jayme, My first sons name is Hunter Lamar Alan, Hunter because my husband loves to hunt Lamar is my husbands middle name and Alan is my husbands dads name, our last baby boy his name is Mason Duane Thomas, Mason because my husband came up with it the only name he actually came up with Duane after my husbands uncle and Thomas after my husbands cousin who was like a brother to him who passed away on july 2009.

  8. 8 CV March 14, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    What you name a baby has a lot of bearing on what kind of person they turn out to be. Make sure you know the meaning of your baby’s name!

  9. 9 Malisa March 22, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    My daughters name is Kailie Jo and my son is Sylus James.Are we Liberal or Conservative?Bet you can’t tell.

  10. 10 Abra May 27, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    well all the name are awsome . my birth name is Abra antoneette my mom said she got Abra from the Binle.


  1. 1 Milblogs | Blog | Is It All In A Name? Trackback on April 28, 2011 at 8:11 pm

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