Do Your Politics Determine Which Car You Buy?

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Democrats and Republicans don't agree on much. So it's probably no surprise they don't agree on which cars to drive, either.

Over the past couple of weeks, two of America’s favorite pastimes have collided: presidential politics and automobiles. Consider…

From Boise to Bombay, everyone’s been talking about Republican front runner Mitt Romney – not his candidacy, but his car elevator.

“Romney’s proposed renovations for his California beachfront property, located in the La Jolla community of San Diego, include a car lift for his four on-site cars,” Yahoo News reported. “He’s even spent more than $20,000 on a lobbyist to help expedite the approval process through the city government.”

Last week, however, the local newspaper in La Jolla reported, “Romney’s home rebuild with car elevator on hold for now.” Apparently, Romney requested it himself, perhaps because the media attention on his car elevator wasn’t elevating his campaign.

Democrats certainly used the car elevator story to paint Romney as out of touch with financially struggling Americans. But there’s a bigger question here: Do the differences between Democrats and Republicans go past the government and into the garage? Does political affiliation have something to do with the car you drive?

It sure does, says consulting firm Strategic Vision. According to its research…

  • 69 percent of people who purchase convertibles are Republicans.
  • More new cars are purchased by Republicans (37 percent) than Democrats (31 percent).
  • Perhaps not surprisingly, more Republicans (49 percent) than Democrats (27 percent) bought luxury sedans – and more Democrats (37 percent) than Republicans (30 percent) bought hatchbacks and station wagons.

How did Strategic Vision verify this? President Alexander Edwards says his researchers collected the political party choice of 76,103 car buyers over the past two years, although he didn’t reveal how they actually did that.

The most interesting and revealing results were “the Top 5 most popular models by political party choice.” These aren’t necessarily the cars they buy, but the ones that “define who we are and what we aspire to become”…


  1. Honda Civic Hybrid
  2. Volvo C30
  3. Nissan Leaf
  4. Acura TSX Wagon
  5. Ford Fiesta Sedan


  1. Ford Mustang Convertible
  2. Audi A8
  3. Mercedes GL
  4. Ford Expedition
  5. Ford F-150

So what’s the point of this research? Besides just being interesting, Edwards says it might help car dealers: “If I were selling a convertible, I’d consider buying some air-time on Fox News.”

Stacy Johnson

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