| LOS ANGELES
LOS ANGELES If you are male and a Led Zeppelin fan, chances are you may be leaning toward voting Republican in the U.S. presidential election, according to a survey of rock radio fans released on Wednesday.
The Jacobs Media's Media/Technology Web Poll IV of more than 27,000 respondents cited stronger than expected interest in the November 2008 election among fans of rock, classic rock, and alternative radio stations.
It also found that John McCain, the Republican candidate for U.S. president, was the top pick for the Oval Office for men and classic rock partisans -- those people who tune in to stations playing music from the "original classic rock era" of 1964 to 1975, comprised of bands like Led Zeppelin, The Who and Pink Floyd.
Jacobs Media said the survey, conducted among 69 U.S. rock-formatted stations in markets as diverse as Los Angeles and Knoxville to Buffalo, found 84 percent of the respondents planned to vote in the November election.
"People are clearly engaged by this election, even rockers. A lot of stations tend to shy away from politics because it's so polarizing, but this data suggests they'd better find a way to talk about politics this fall to keep listeners interested," said Fred Jacobs, president of Jacobs Media. He said the company threw the political questions in as an afterthought and was surprised by the results.
The survey was conducted in late February and early March.
About 30 percent of the respondents called themselves Democrats, while nearly 22 percent described their politics as Republican and 21 percent declared they were independents.
About 26 percent of the respondents either named a different party, preferred not to answer, or refused to categorize themselves.
The survey found women and fans of alternative radio, featuring '80s and '90s rock, tend to be Democratic, while men and classic rockers lean Republican.
Asked about their overall presidential preference, Democrat Barack Obama led the pack with 26 percent support among those planning on voting in the November election.
McCain ranked second with 22 percent and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton drew 18 percent.
There were also a fair share of write-in votes. Mickey Mouse ranked as the top presidential choice of 11 respondents, and singer Ted Nugent was written in by three members of the Rock sample.
(Editing by Mohammad Zargham)
(To read more about the U.S. political campaign, visit Reuters "Tales from the Trail: 2008" online at blogs.reuters.com/trail08/)