Your Car, Your Politics

Democrats by cars, Republicans buy trucks research finds.

Published: 03-Apr-2005

s always been tempting to think you can figure out who a person is and what he thinks by what he drives. That subject was raised recently by Chely Wright in her country and western hit, "Bumper of My S.U.V.," in which she tells of a "lady in a minivan" giving her a vulgar hand gesture for driving a car with a Marines bumper sticker:

"Does she think she knows what I stand for/Or the things that I believe/Just by looking at a sticker for the U.S. Marines/On the bumper of my S.U.V.?"

The lady in the minivan might not know, but some of the finest minds in market research think they do. By analyzing new-car sales, surveying car owners and keeping count of political bumper stickers, they are identifying the differences between Democratic cars and Republican ones.

Among their findings: buyers of American cars tend to be Republican - except, for some reason, those who buy Pontiacs, who tend to be Democrats. Foreign-brand compact cars are usually bought by Democrats - but not Mini Coopers, which are bought by almost equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans. And Volvos may not actually represent quite what you think.

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