Political Memes so how right now meme depicting Will Farrell and Milla Jovovich from Zoolander.

KYM Insights: How People From Different Political Affiliations And Demographics View Political Memes

If you’ve been spending a lot of time online these days, and you probably have considering the massive spike in internet usage during the pandemic, you’re aware that the web has been chock-full of politics. As we continue to get closer to the 2020 presidential election, this reality has only increased more and more, also in terms of political memes.

The encroachment of politics into meme culture isn’t exactly new, but since the 2016 election, their sheer prevalence means just about anyone who spends time on the internet will stumble across them today. Last month, a similar poll we conducted proved that, compared to memes on other topics, political memes were typically received poorly by almost every demographic.

With that in mind, how are netizens generally responding to this influx of political memes, and what insight can we garner from their reactions?

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Over the last two weeks, KYM Insights conducted a series of polls through CivicScience to gain a better understanding of how political memes are viewed online. By posing a wide range of questions on the topic, we’ve learned that the answer to this question depends heavily on age, income, political affiliation and more.

The nearly 2,000 respondents we received answers from were weighted according to U.S. Census figures for gender and age, focused on those who've seen political memes in recent memory. Of the participants, 53 percent were female and 47 percent male. For ages, 38 percent were under 18 to 34, with the remainder being 35 to 65 or older.

Overall Ages of Respondents Under 18 18-24 7.6% 13.6% 25-29 11.8% 30-34 14.4% 35-44 9% 45-54 55-64 8.7% 16.7% 65+ 18.2%

To begin, let’s take a look at the overall reception. At nearly 50 percent of all respondents, the vast majority expressed “mostly negative” reactions to seeing political memes, with 27 percent neutral and just 24 percent “mostly positive.” Of these three answer groups, how does each differ from one another, and what are some of the most interesting correlations between those who like, dislike or remain neutral when it comes to political memes? First, we’ll dig into the largest group.

What type of reaction have you had to political recently? memes Mostly negative Neutral Mostly positive 23.9% 49.2% 26.9%

Mostly Negative

For the “mostly negative” group, perhaps the most interesting differences lie in their technology usage. Respondents who answered mostly negative are less likely to spend at least an hour each day on social media or to follow technology trends. With regard to media consumption, respondents in this group are also less likely to actively use Twitter. While it's a question of causation or correlation, perhaps the ubiquity of political discussion on social media has turned them off to both political memes and the platforms themselves. As far as demographics and profile, this group typically skews older and is more likely to be 55-plus but less likely to be 18-34.

Ages of "Mostly Negative" Respondents Under 18 18-24 16.1% 25-29 9.7% 30-34 7.8% 35-44 15.7% 45-54 8.1% 55-64 65+ 17.2% 18.2%

Mostly Positive

The “mostly positive” group of respondents also had some interesting differences from their more negative counterparts. People in this group were more likely to actively use Instagram and Pinterest, and people who are most influenced by social media were also more likely to fall into the group. Curiously, this subsection was also found to be more common among employed people, with ages flipping compared to the “mostly negative” group. Grandparents were less likely to answer mostly positive as well.

Ages of "Mostly Positive" Respondents Under 18 18-24 7.8% 7.8% 25-29 11.4% 30-34 16.3% 35-44 45-54 15.3% 11.9% 55-64 65+ 9.7% 19.7%


Falling in the middle in terms of both percentage and outlook on political memes, the “neutral” group proved less fascinating in their results, but nonetheless interesting. Results of the poll showed that people who volunteered at least once a month were less likely to answer neutral, but more likely to rent their homes vs. owning them. Furthermore, the neutral party, for some reason, was more likely to follow college football closely.

Ages of "Neutral" Respondents Under 18 18-24 8.1% 14.3% 25-29 11.4% 30-34 35-44 14.9% 8.6% 45-54 55-64 9% 16.9% 65+ 16.9%


In the end, the results prove that those who typically view political memes negatively spent less time on social media, didn’t follow tech trends and skewed older in terms of age. Those who responded positively were more likely to be younger, without children, employed and actively used social media, such as Instagram or Pinterest, as well as being more influenced by their time spent there.

What we can gather from all this is that younger generations tend to be more inclined to the growing prevalence of political memes and be influenced by them. On the other hand, older generations viewed them in a more negative light but weren’t as active on social media. As for the neutral party? Well, they’re too busy watching college football or volunteering to care about political memes.

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