Styles of baby names, it seems, are nearly as different in various parts of the country as voting habits. … But this doesn’t play out the way you might expect. More progressive communities, Wattenberg says, tend to favor more old-fashioned names. Parents in more conservative areas come up with names that are more creative or androgynous. … The reason for more outlandish-sounding names cropping up in conservative quarters is simple, Wattenberg says. Women in red states tend to have their first children earlier than women in blue states. A 23-year-old mom is more likely to come up with something out of the ordinary than one who is 33.
I’ll readily accept that there is a statistical correlation between traditional/creative names and political cultures/attitudes. I’m not sure that simple age differences of the mothers is the end of the story, though.
It’s possible that traditional baby names may result from parents who tend to value tradition and conventionalism (at least, this is why my daughter got a “traditional” name!). Research has also shown that conventionalism as a personality characteristic tends to be associated with conservative political views. This would suggest that conservatives should be more likely to give their children traditional names, rather than trendy names.
But the evidence seems to indicate that this is not the case. My question is why.