I know what you’re thinking. “Karen” is the widely accepted shorthand for a strain of manager-summoning, mask-denying, conspiracy theory-peddling woman with a Kate Gosselin haircut and a predilection for throwing tantrums in public. Karens are usually racist, always belligerent, and they’re probably going to channel all that bile in their hearts into a vote for President Donald Trump at the polls this week.
Or are they?
The New York Times and Siena College have compiled new polling from more than 17,000 likely voters across 18 battleground states over the last two months to create a database of voter preferences by name. Karen is among the 10 most common female names, and their projected voter preferences fly directly in the face of everything you’ve been taught about Karens based on the past seven months of viral videos.
The NYT polling data shows that 60% of surveyed Karens are likely to vote for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, while the remaining 40% are likely to vote for Trump. (The survey results came from a two-party vote share and excluded voters who chose neither major candidate.)
There are plenty of explanations for the Karens’ left-skewing polling data. For starters, it’s important to remember that the majority of belligerent, racist bullies who become the subject of viral Karen videos are rarely actually named Karen. The real Karens have likely been watching the turmoil from the sidelines, scared to speak up for fear of being lumped in with the terrible, honorary Karens. They’re tired of seeing their birth name dragged through the mud, and they’re ready to restore some dignity to the Karen moniker by voting against the fear-mongering bigot currently in office.
Or the Karens’ projected voting preferences could be entirely coincidental and not at all reflective of a national trend, considering the sample size was relatively small. Either way, it’s a win for Karens who feel they’ve been unfairly maligned throughout 2020. And if Biden emerges victorious after Election Day, the NYT polling data could be the beginning of the Karen redemption arc.