Red Vs. Blue: Who's Buying What Across America's Political Divide?

By Blake Z. Rong | February 16, 2012
This election year, let lead you through the quagmire and vitriol that defines modern American politics, so we can cut to the deep issues: who's driving what these days, and where? Are Dems more likely to hug the earth in a Toyota Prius C? Is Rush Limbaugh boldly flaunting NYC's anti-idling laws in a "These Colors Don't Run" Ram 2500 Crew Cab Laramie Longhorn? What Republicans and Democrats drive in their red and blue states, respectively, will probably reaffirm any deep-seated stereotypes you had about the other guys, but that's part of the rich tapestry that forms our fair country. Or according to Polk, anyway, which endorses no party and does not have a Super PAC. It's no surprise that red states, comprising mainly of southern and western regions, tend to favor pickup trucks. Four of the top ten cars in red states are trucks, and red staters tend to lean towards larger midsize sedans. Conversely, blue state folks people snap up crossovers in droves, and tend to lean more toward compacts. But both sides are united in their love of non-luxury: the top makes were Ford, Chevrolet, Honda, Toyota, and Nissan, though not in that order; red states preferred domestic companies more, while Toyota was the winner for the blues. There's little claim to correlation with this data, but simply a "talking point," to use a phrase so beloved by media talking heads. Blue states tend to be crowded along the coast and include major cities, places where Limbaugh's Laramie Longhorn would be picketed. Conversely, Polk's Tom Libby says, "red state buyers don't necessarily buy more pickups because they are more conservative, but they still do buy more pickups."
The results may affirm stereotypes, but stereotypes often have a basis in reality. Certainly there are Democrats and liberals holding their own in mainly red states, and they may require pickup trucks for their purposes just as they would need Toyota Camrys. Who's to judge, after all, in this great democratic nation of ours, what we're supposed to buy and what we want to buy? Anything else would be...well, do we want to say it? Source: Polk Research