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Even the most open-minded servers tend to buy into politically incorrect theories of customer behavior that hinge on race and gender. I've worked with women who buy nutritional yeast in bulk, slap "Free Mumia" stickers on their biodiesel-fueled cars and refuse to wait on all-female tables.
But a new study suggests tipping's linked to yet another core identity, one I've never heard discussed in any wait station. According to HCD Research, Democrats are reliably better tippers than Republicans.
Democrats are two percent more generous when receiving bad service, leaving an average 10.8 percent to Republicans' 8.7 percent. That stat might be dismissed as evidence of liberals' bleeding hearts, except that the phenomenon repeated itself on the good service end of the spectrum: Satisfied Dems tipped 20 percent, while the average G.O.P'er tacked 18 percent onto his bill.
Independents were the worst tippers, leaving just under 18 percent when pleased with their service. So what accounts for the discrepancy? Are Democrats more likely to have worked a service job in the past? Does fiscal conservatism inhibit Republicans from tipping 20 percent? The polling firm doesn't say. But I'm guessing that if these results receive widespread attention, restaurant-bound Republicans might want to consider leaving their elephant lapel pins at home.