TodayApril 16, 2022

Republican or a Democrat? your car knows

the purchasing power of each political party

Republican or a Democrat? Every vote is going to count in the presidential election. Every dollar needs to be spent wisely to garner the vote of each constituent. How do candidates know if their dollars are being spent wisely?

A new study by Strategic Vision, a research-based consulting group, shows the psychological purchasing power of each party.

Over the past couple of years, Strategic Vision has gathered information on over 300,000 new car buyers and their political affiliations. The data they’ve produced would have Rove, Carville or Axelrod campaign manager hunched over in their office chair, Cheshire cat-grin on their face, beady eyes looking in all directions, hands twisting in delight, saying, “They’re mine, all mine.”

Republican or a Democrat

For example, 69% of people who purchase convertibles are Republicans. Alexander Edwards, Strategic Vision president, observes the obvious and the art of ulterior marketing, “You wouldn’t just take this data on convertible buyers and only create ˜Republican appealing messages, but instead, ask yourself about the conquest opportunity with Democratic buyers who don’t gravitate as much to convertibles.” Edwards stresses one point, “However, you still can’t ignore the obvious. If I were selling a convertible, I’d consider buying some air-time on Fox News.”

In a subsequent study, Strategic Vision found that only 21% of Republicans bought the Chevy Volt. So, conversely, if Chevrolet were trying to sell the Volt the obvious buy-in for air-time would be MSNBC.

The following are from the studies most recent results, showing the top five most popular models by political party choice:


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

The study found that Republicans were more likely (over 5%) to feel secure and personally safe about who they are and feel more control over their lives. Democrats were 4% more likely to see themselves as smart, with 7% more having postgraduate degrees.

Republicans purchased more domestic, larger vehicles with higher horsepower. A couple of the Republican vehicles had the best fuel efficiency in that segment. The Democrats bought greener, less expensive cars that had exceptional fuel efficiency. The one thing both Republicans and Democrats have in common is that three of the five vehicles in each category were also ranked number one for a total value in their segment. Total Value scoring demonstrates that when a vehicle has a clear image and the right emotional DNA, the customer’s perception of value, and ultimately sales, will increase.

What does it all mean? When you see a Republican presidential candidate at a Ford truck event in Texas you know he, or she, is playing to their audience.

Follow the money

The median income for the new car buyer in the group sampled was $88,000. As expected, Republicans have the highest median income, $93,000, of any political group. Democrats were below average at $86,000. Strategic Vision broke out the tea party as an individual group; its median income was $86,000 (the same as the Democrats). The Libertarians fared better, right below the Republican’s net income, at $93,000.

Strategic Visions’ objective is to help auto manufacturers sell more cars, “We obviously believed a major election year would make such findings interesting, but the value of this data exists in how it trends with specific brands, models and the multitude of correlation profiles possible. We certainly can appreciate the anecdotal discussions that explain why these consumers make the decisions they do, but the actionable steps to create more sales comes from understanding at the brand/model level such things as ˜openness and freedom associated with convertibles and those who vote Republican, for example,” says Christopher Chaney, Strategic Visions vice president.

The reason this study is so important and timely to campaign managers is that it gives them insight into both parties. The ability to have a clear image of who your customer is allows the campaign to market the car to the largest demographic available. The ability to have a clear image of who your voter is allows the campaign to market the president to the largest sector available. In the end, buying a car, or voting for a presidential candidate, comes down to marketing.

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.