Wendy Davis or Greg Abbott: What Big Data Has to Say About Austin Voters

On October 27, Jon Stewart will be in Austin, Texas, live broadcasting what his The Daily Show has dubbed “Democalypse 2014: South by South Mess,” or more colloquially: midterm elections. 

It’s not unusual for The Daily Show to broadcast on location during elections, but this will mark the first time the entire show is done in Texas, hosting 400 people at the ZACH Theatre for three different shows. 

Why now? Well, Wendy Davis’ filibuster in summer 2013 shot the Texas democrat into the public limelight, with supporters coming out in hoards in more liberal states. In fact, because of the filibuster, Davis has landed coverage in Vogue, The New York Times and more. Her net casts far and wide, pulling in a captive audience from far beyond Texas’ boarders. Her run for governor against Greg Abbott, in a state many have theorized is turning a more political purple than its traditional red, is likely to gain national media coverage. 

That isn’t to say, though, that Davis’ political fame opts her out of national satire. Au contraire. The battle between Davis and Abbott has been a particularly brutal one, each running infamous smear campaigns on Texas television. 

In all, Stewart has a lot of fodder to play with when it comes to Texas’ midterm elections, the first time in 14 years Texas will vote for a new governor, replacing Rick Perry’s decade and a half long incumbency. 

That said, let’s take a look at some of the data behind who the voters are for each candidate. This data represents 10,000 people based in Austin, Texas who have attended or RSVPed to Umbel events, and agreed to social authentication allowing second-party data collection. 

Keep in mind that for all of this data, these are Austinites we are dealing with. In general, the Austin-area is one of the more liberal metropolitans in Texas. That said, some of the data presented here will skew similarly. 

For all of the following graphics, taken from Umbel’s Digital Genome, Wendy Davis’ data appears above Greg Abbott’s. 


In general, more men than women in the Austin area are fans of Wendy Davis, though that should come as no surprise. Abbott voters make about $20K more than Davis voters, on average, though the median age for both groups is 31. Both groups are dominantly unmarried.

TV Shows

When it comes to what to watch on their downtime, Davis fans prefer The Daily Show, while Abbott fans prefer Breaking Bad. Of course, The Daily Show is a close second for Abbott fans, as well. 

Turns out no matter your political affiliation, most Austinites are stoked about The Daily Show making its way to Austin for a few days, which explains why tickets sold out minutes after the announcement. 


Deep Eddy Vodka and Tito’s are local brands, and Austinites on both sides of the political spectrum stay true to the “Keep Austin Weird” slogan which promotes shopping locally. 

Reading Material 

Texas Monthly and Austin Monthly, both based in Austin, obviously have large followings in the area. However, Abbott voters clearly prefer the Texas-wide publication over the local version (Texas Monthly and Austin Monthly are two entirely separate publications and companies). Davis fans have a high affinity for both Texas Monthly and Austin Monthly, though out-of-state publications make an appearance, as well, particularly The New Yorker

In all, The Daily Show is sure to hit on the absurdities of Texas’ midterms elections, specifically on the idiosyncrasies of the Davis and Abbott campaigns. The data, though, shows that, as far as Austin is concerned, there aren’t too many differences between the voting bases. 

To get an indepth view into the affinities, demographics and more of your audience, contact Umbel for a demo