President Obama owes his popularity among youth to one (fictional) person: Harry Potter.
According to a media study by a professor at the University of Vermont, the seven Harry Potter books played a “not insignificant” role in how young people decided between President Obama and his various political opponents over the last few elections.
Political science professor Anthony Gierzynski claims that author J.K. Rowling “brainwashed” millenials with specific moral lessons that made the Democratic candidate more appealing than his rivals.
“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 said in an email to The College Fix.
For his study, Gierzynski surveyed 1,000 college-aged adults at seven universities across the country.The result? About 60 percent of individuals who had read the books ultimately voted for President Obama while 83 percent of those who read the novels held poor views of the Bush administration.
He admits that college-aged voters tend to lean Democratic anyway, regardless of whether they had read the Harry Potter novels or not. Still, the books teach moral lessons that comply with Democratic views and popular perceptions of the GOP. He notes that, for instance, the villains in the series are “quite vocal in their bigotry” toward Muggles and wizards of a lower social position.
Gierzynski published his results in an 82-page peer-reviewed work titled “Harry Potter and the Millennials: Research Methods and the Politics of the Muggle Generation.”
Do you think that Harry Potter influenced millenials to vote for President Obama?