Muckraker: Grist on Politics

The kind of car you drive is related to your preference for presidential candidate, according to new research from Kelley Blue Book Marketing Research.

 

McCain leads among owners of full-size trucks and SUVs, luxury cars, and luxury SUVs. Obama leads among those who drive imports, station wagons, hatchbacks, and hybrids.

“McCain’s appeal among owners of domestics and large trucks/SUVs is right in line with where we see a majority of those vehicles selling — in the traditionally Republican ‘red’ states,” said Rick Wainschel, senior vice president of marketing and analytics for Kelley Blue Book. “With import and hybrid owners typically favoring Obama, this also aligns with strong sales of these types of vehicles in predominately Democratic ‘blue’ states.”

More on the research findings:

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) rates high among domestic and luxury owners. Among the domestic brands, owners of GMC (61 percent), Chevrolet (60 percent), Buick and Dodge (each at 58 percent), as well as Ford (57 percent) vehicles are the highest in favor of McCain. In the luxury vehicle segment, McCain leads among Lexus, BMW, and Lincoln owners at 52 percent each.

Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) leads McCain among owners of import vehicles with the highest ratings for MINI (70 percent), Subaru (61 percent), and Saab (59 percent). Fifty percent of Honda owners plan on voting for Obama, ten points higher than McCain.

In addition, vehicle segments have a direct correlation to car-owners’ preferred presidential candidates. McCain receives the highest support from full-size truck (66 percent), full-size SUV (61 percent) and luxury SUV (61 percent) owners. Obama leads McCain among luxury station wagon (59 percent), station wagon and sport wagon (55 percent), hatchback (52 percent) and luxury crossover vehicle (52 percent) owners. Among owners of hybrid vehicles, Obama leads with 48 percent of the preferences, nine points more than McCain.

And the conclusion:

The connection between car ownership and Presidential candidates can also be seen in both the Democratic and Republican campaigns. Republican rallies often promote the idea of “drill, baby, drill,” which may link gas-guzzling truck and SUV owners to McCain. On the other hand, Obama has stressed the importance of putting more money toward wind, solar, and other alternative forms of energy, which may relate to his popularity among hybrid owners.