Are Solange Knowles, Big Freedia, and Drew Brees Good Voters?

Photo by Derek E. Hingle

What makes someone a good voter? 

It’s not what you originally may think: who people vote for, but rather how many times they vote. This is one of those rare instances where quantity truly is better than quality. 

To judge “good voters” political scientists will look at individual’s voting records, rating them based on how many times they vote in a certain number of elections. These ratings help political organizations discover who is worth reaching out to, and who is probably going to keep their “0 votes submitted” streak going come election day. 

In an insightful analysis by Tony Licciardi, New Orleans local and national celebrities were rated on a “good voter” scale of 0-10. Ratings solely reflected how many of the last 10 statewide elections, from November 2015 to November 2020, people voted in, using a November 17, 2020, Louisiana Secretary of State voter file. 

In the analysis, “0” represents inactive voters and “10” represents people who voted in every statewide election over the last 5 years. Before getting into the findings it should be noted that “10’s” are extremely rare. In Louisiana, only 1.2% of registered voters are “10’s”. 

Even more startling is the fact that “0’s” were the most common voting group, representing 20.4% of registered voters. Furthermore, voters with ratings from “0” to “2” made up 51% of Louisiana’s registered voters. 

Knowing this does put the analyzed celebrity’s voting records into more perspective, yet, they are still quite surprising. 

As you can see, of the celebrities included in the analysis, Drew Brees and Solange Knowles had the lowest voter ratings, only voting in 1 of the last 10 statewide elections, while Ralph Brennan had the highest voter rating of 9. 

Interestingly, only 4 of the celebrities had a voter rating above 8, 2 of whom were the only Republicans included in the analysis. All 10 of the people who had ratings of 6 and below were either Democrats or registered with “other/no party.”

One individual who the analysis particularly focused on was Drew Brees. From 2014 up until 2020, Drew Brees was a registered Republican with a “0” voter rating. 

However, this year things changed. 

In June, he found himself in a social media dumpster fire when he responded to an interview question about players kneeling during the national anthem by saying he “will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country.” 

The next day he apologized with two separate Instagram posts, stating, “ I am sorry, and I will do better, and I will be part of the solution. And I am your ally.” 

In response to his apology, Donald Trump tweeted at Brees that he “should not have taken back his original stance on honoring our magnificent American Flag.” 

Brees responded to Trump, “Through my ongoing conversations with friends, teammates, and leaders in the black community, I realize this is not an issue about the American flag. It has never been. We can no longer use the flag to turn people away or distract them from the real issues that face our black communities.” 

Brees’ social media sparring with Donald Trump possibly was what inspired him to change parties and vote in the recent presidential election after skipping voting in 2016. 

Even more interesting to consider than Brees’ possible vote against Donald Trump is what else could have fueled his voting this year. For example, his future political career. 

When asked if he would like to pursue a career in politics in a 2011 interview, Brees responded “I’d consider it, I am not going to close any doors, hopefully that’s some way away, I’d love to be able to play football for as long as I can but we’ll see. There are lots of things I want to do after I stop playing.” 

Well, it’s a decade later and Brees has almost stopped playing football. He hasn’t officially retired but is out of the game with injuries. Will his next play be in politics? Only time will tell. 

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