With the Presidential Election coming up in just three short months, politics is in the forefront of discussion. An election year really brings out stereotypes like no other. You know—Democrats like lattes, think with their hearts and drive electric cars. Republicans are gun-toting, religious, American-made truck drivers. Hmm, maybe there are some truths to the stereotypes…  And it turns out, especially when it comes to what car you drive.

A recent two-year study from Strategic Vision, which compiled data from new car buyers, lists the top 5 cars that liberals and conservatives drive:

The top five cars for liberals were:

1. Honda Civic (hybrid)
2. Volvo C30
3. Nissan Leaf
4. Acura TSX
5. Ford Fiesta

The top five cars for conservatives were:

1. Ford Mustang (convertible)
2. Audi A8
3. Mercedes GL
4. Ford Expedition
5. Ford F150

But the other findings are more interesting. Drive a convertible? You’re probably voting for the two Rs: Romney and Ryan, as 69% of Republicans like the top down. Democrats are practical, preferring smaller, “Multi-Functional” cars, such as station wagons and 5-door hatch-type vehicles, so chances are that guy driving that Volvo station wagon has an Obama bumper sticker. And it is true that Republicans do like big ol’ trucks, as they were the top buyers of large SUVs and pickups.

The study also looked at smaller party affiliations, finding that Libertarians are among the youngest (median age 48) and affluent (annual median income $93k) of new car buyers.

I just happened to buy a new car, a Honda CRV, and I’m a liberal Democrat. So according to this study, I chose the right car—Democrats prefer smaller SUVs (compact recreational vehicles.) I also chose the right car for my gender, because according to this “Gender and Car Buying” study, women are the top buyers of the Honda CRV.

Before my new CRV, I owned “liberal” cars, like a Volvo station wagon and smaller sedans. But many years ago I did buy a VW Convertible Cabrio. I never liked it. I’ll spare you the long-story on why I purchased it, but I hated that car so much I ended up just donating it to get rid of it. Go figure.

And if there is truth to this study, there should be more large SUVs in Millburn, which voted 58.9% for Obama and 39.8% for McCain in the 2008 elections.  And the streets of Montclair, which voted 84% for Obama in 2008, should be filled with hybrids and station wagons.  And what about bikes? Are there any Republicans at Bike&Walk Montclair?

What do you drive and what’s your party affiliation? Does this study ring true?

(Photo: Flickr with Photo-shopped bumper sticker)

61 replies on “Do You Drive a Liberal Car or Conservative Car?”

  1. I drive a BMW and I’m fiscally conservative and socially liberal. I don’t know what that interpolates to.

  2. Next question – since Liberals often believe in global warming and Conservatives often don’t, we need a study to see who leaves the car running ( and who shuts it off ) when they run into a store for alcohol, caffeine, or a newspaper.
    I’ll bet the Conservatives usually leave the motor running. It’s that “personal freedom thing”.

  3. This thread makes me miss Sandy. He’d have commented. But I’ve always thought that the adage that your car says a lot about who you are was silly: how many models are there? How many colors? You can get a big one or a little one, a guzzler or a thrifty sipper, depending on your budget, but odds are it’s going to be generic silver, black, blue, green or red, and be more indicative of your disposable income than anything else.

    Now if I had money to waste on a car, and cared more than I do, I’d buy me a ’56 Nash Metropolitan and turn it into a hotrod with little miniature flames coming out of the custom vents in the front hood….maybe sink a BMW 2000 engine in it…definitely hang fuzzy dice on the mirror…or a Hudson Hornet painted periwinkle blue. Not exactly indicative of the proudly liberal tax-and-spend environmentally-concerned progressive that I am.

  4. I have been driving lib cars forever. This summer I drove my friend’s Ford Expedition and fell in love. Mama wants a BAMFT and she won’t be happy until she has one.

    I am imported from Detriot and I know Jesus would have driven a truck. He told me so at some skeevy bar in the Motor City last week after we shared a whiskey or 10.

  5. Dunno it was dark and he had a beard. It could have been both I was seeing double.

    Will I go to hell if I make a “Name That Jesus Cocktail”?

  6. I drive a Prius and am quite liberal. As for running the engine, no, not a chance, but it has less to do with the environment and more that I don’t want my car to get stolen. I mean, come on, all someone has to do is hop in and drive away.

  7. Saab station wagon for this liberal. However, we also have a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. Wonder what that means? We really use it for off road though!

  8. This form of largely discredited “research” is quite old. I think it dates back to the mid-50’s and that mentions of it can be found in Vance Packard’s books on advertising.

    For almost 30 years I rode the same form of primary transport as Sonny Barger. But the first car I ever bought for myself was the “hybrid” for its time: a Ford hardtop convertible. And a friend who’s a casino executive in Nevada and hates Harry Reid had as his own car of choice (for 20 years) an Amphicar, if anyone out there remembers them.

  9. WOW, Pat! Somebody beat me to it! Except that’s a huge engine — I hadn’t planned to blow a hole in the entire front hood. Must be a pretty exciting ride, though.

  10. For almost 30 years I rode the same form of primary transport as Mary Poppins.
    But the first car I ever bought for myself was the “hybrid” of its time: a Morris Minor.
    And a friend who’s a vulture capitalist in Massachusetts and hates Mitt Romney had his own car of choice for 20 years — he simply took it off the showroom after he foreclosed on the company.

  11. I drive a 17-year old Toyota pickup truck with a stick shift and almost 300,000 miles on the odometer.

    I’m not sure that that says about me other than I can’t afford to buy a new set of wheels right now.

    In fact, I think it says more about Toyota than it does about me.

  12. Speaking of transportation, when did I, as a Montclair resident, move next to Newark airport? There has always been the occasional jet going by but this year I’ve noticed a significant increase in air traffic, and living up on the hill on the South end of town means we are closer to those planes. I am amazed at how low some of them are and, of course, loud. Did EWR change its flight paths, increase it’s traffic, or am I imagining things? The millionaires on Lloyd Road and thereabouts must be pretty sore to be paying the taxes they do and have to listen to this noise all day long as if they were living on Rt 9 in Newark.

  13. I currently have a convertible. And I’m going to vote for Romney: when pigs fly. 😉

    Though, when the Youngest Member was small, there was a Volvo wagen in my Upper Montclair driveway (and a Volvo sedan in the garage).

  14. Herb has 3 cars (a wife and a bevy of driving kids) and each car has over 100,000 miles on them. I don’t care much for cars as long as it has Sirius/XM. Matter of fact V-6, V-8 blah blah means nothing to me as long as they run and at least one can fit my family.

    As usual spiro paints everyone with the same brush. As far as idling, I don’t like it and I don’t do it. It has more to do with people not having to whiff those fumes.

    Spiro, I’ll bet you a latte that there is no shortage of lib soccer parents in Montclair that don’t think twice about sitting in front of school idiling while waiting for their little darling or when they run in to grab a gallon of soy milk in the winter. I see it all the time and I’ve seen them get confronted and they say “I’ll only be here a second”. Remember with people of this ilk, rules are for others not them.

    Back to cars. If they created a dependable electric car that would save me gas money I’d do it. Although people that think they will have huge savings due to not using gas should prepare for registration increases, fee’s and road taxes because states like Washington arent going to give up that money.

    I’m an unapologetic proud conservative and my car is in the 2nd group.

    WWJWD (What Would John Wayne Drive)

  15. Unmitigated, I also live south of Bloomfield Ave and have been thinking of purchasing some hand flags that they used on aircraft carriers for guiding the planes in for landing in my back yard. I know they’re taking off but I guess they haven’t had time yet to gain altitude because sometimes I swear I can smell the exhaust.

  16. The planes……….

    There was one about 5 a.m that’s been waking me up for a few years. It’s annoying but I get up about 5:20 anyway. Now it seems as though they’ve tossed in a 4 a.m plane into the mix. It’s loud enough where I am, I can only imagine what it’s like in SOBA.

    Hey SOBA (S of Bfd Ave) , get one of those ridiculous European white oval with that, like OBX.

  17. People do indeed define themselves by the brands they use, and want others to see they use.
    I think you’d more likely see Jesus driving a humble VW Jetta TDI while wearing jeans from the Gap, drinking a soy latte or Chai , with an old Timex or Swatch attached to his wrist.

    He is definitely not a Porsche Cayenne, Cohiba smoking, Rolex and Brooks Brothers kind of dude.

  18. I spoke to Romney and he confirmed what Strategic Vision (private capital funded) said with one caveat: “I like the top down, but then the dog has no where to ride.”

  19. I’ve neither owned nor operated an automobile for a dozen years, having broken the petroleum habit for good in 1995 (up to that point it was Hondas, all the way!). Now, when I need to travel, I either fly, have a willing friend drive me or use public transportation. For local travel you can find me cruising along at a good pace using my 1952 Legs.

    Just to note, I’ve seen plenty of campaign bumperstickers (even saw one last week in Kentucky reading “Republicans for Voldemort”) but I’ve never seen an Obama sticker on a pick-up, nor a Romney sticker on a ‘smart car’.

  20. True story: mid-70’s on Soldiers Field Road outside Boston heading toward my job in Waltham. Semi-rush hour traffic, people weaving, passing, sneaking around other cars in that just-so-Boston manner that makes you want to drive a tank and crush them all. Two cars coming to a merge caused by some kind of road construction: a beat-up Saab with a “No Nukes” bumper sticker and a mutli-colored VW Beetle with more peacenik stickers than paint. Inexorably, neither driver yields until metal meets metal, at which point they both jump out of their cars, start yelling and wind up trying to beat the krapp out of each other. Conan, in his MGB with the top down, leads the rest of the delighted spectators in a hardy round of “Give Peace a Chance.”

  21. It must be top 5 by volume or something, because Subaru has got to be a top 5 liberal car on all other metrics.

  22. Agree with nerdherd. Subaru is all over Montclair and Park Slope. I can’t believe it didn’t make the liberal list.

  23. When we were researching which car to buy, it was down to a Suburu Forrester or the Honda CRV. I liked them both, but the Honda did better on gas so it won out.

  24. The Subaru is simply a practical vehicle regions with frequently inclement weather. Chances are that the guy in the worn khakis driving a Subaru in VT is a retired millionaire. They transcend economics and ideology. You drive one because you want to stay out of the ditch. Smart people know this. You’re more likely to see the prototypical “think left, live right” local mommy driving a Lexus RS 350 or MB GL 450. On the other hand, many econo box cars that are emblematic of the progressive mindset are simply pieces of crap, no matter how many 2012 stickers are plastered on them.

  25. Yes…Like the Prius. But libs fall for marketing just as frequently as conservatives do. I heard Subaru’s next wagon is going to be named the Organic.

  26. BTW, most people drive the cars on your lib list because they can’t afford better ones, despite their save the world shtick. As soon as they can afford it, it’s off to the BMW dealer…

  27. Lexus makes a version of the Priusthat I saw yesterday. NYT review said it was basically targeted toward drivers that didn’t want the ancillary Prius baggage. Nice car. Probably better brakes, suspension, etc. Prius does transcend, but I’d feel too much like Larry David in one.

  28. Oooh this is an entertaining thread! Holly spotting Jesus in Detroit! Conan leading those crazy Bostonians in song! HAHAHA!

    Well I’ll tell ya, for the last 16 years or so I have leased my cars (YEAH I know, it’s a waste of money, blah blah, but when you commute to Armpit, USA for work you might want to drive a reliable vehicle in tip-top shape. Just sayin.) Anyway in my complete history I have had a ’66 Skylark (Ahhh, what a machine!), one Toyota, one Mazda, One Nissan, and the rest have been Honda/Acura. I love those Hondas. Lately their quality seems to have slipped a bit but overall I think they are great. I love my current model Pilot so much I may buy it out (YEAH I know that’s another foolish move, should have negotiated and purchased it at the beginning, whatEver.) I need this vehicle because I can no longer stand not being up high on the roads (got into a friend’s Volvo sedan recently and thought we were going to go right under everyone else on the road.) I like the all-wheel drive, and it seats 8 people. This is especially important when one has to cart around kids, in-laws, and stuff; or a “boatload” of kids after practice. The mileage sucks but for now I can still afford it. Holly, I would recommend it over the Ford Explosion anytime! Roomy, but not a Behemoth!

    Our other car is a 9 year old F-150 base model. Frankly I enjoy driving that truck – people tend to *not* cut me off quite as often! It’s showing its age now, and will need some work soon. Wish we had a Good, Trustworthy mechanic because the dealership is a rip-off!

    Very soon we’ll have to add to the fleet as a new driver is fast approaching … probably will look for a 10-year old Accord!

  29. I guess its a good thing that Sandy has moved on, for all of this talk about Japanese and German cars would surely have killed him.

  30. I proudly sported an Obama-Biden ’08 bumper sticker on the back of my ’99 Forester & one day realized it had been stolen. I spent a couple of days being pissed till I remembered: the tailgate had been replaced when a texting kid rear-ended me.

  31. I don’t think he was texting Kit, I just think that he didn’t like the sticker on the back of your car!

  32. Congrats to Bill for breaking th petroleum habit before it became so chic. Was pure choice or influeced by some physical or mental infirmity? Wait, are you the dude that walks around dressed as a revolutionary war figure by any chance. Looks like he’s on the same wavelength.

  33. Those planes over SOBA are most likely private jets out of Teterboro. That’s their flight path. Towards the north we get what has to be the red-eye from the west coast some time after 5:00 AM.

  34. No way those behemoths are private jets. I’m pretty sure the Teterboro planes head west north of Bloomfield Ave.(NOBA?).

  35. herb, UB2 funny, calling out Spiro as one who ” paints everyone with the same brush.”

    If so, I can only hope to be inspired by the best of the best – the one and only – herbeverschmel !

    For example: In the herb annals, earlier today:

    “I’ll bet you a latte that there is no shortage of lib soccer parents in Montclair that don’t think twice about sitting in front of school idiling while waiting for their little darling or when they run in to grab a gallon of soy milk in the winter.”

    That one was pretty good, but not as good as your views about the world’s 1.6 billion Moslems. – I believe, on that one, you say to yourself “screw the damn paintbrush” and just dump the whole freakin vat of rustoleum.

  36. My wife and I have 4 cars:

    2011 Dodge Avenger
    2008 Jeep Commander
    1967 Plymouth Belvedere II Station Wagon
    1965 Mercedes 230SL Convertible

    But today, I won’t be driving any of them, I’ll be riding my:

    1970 Yamaha CT1-B

    If the weather’s fine, she’s great for around town, and you can’t beat the mileage – I guess that makes me a Fiscal Conservative Tree Hugger?

  37. Tonight I’m going to hear Johnny Winter, Edgar Winter, Leslie West and Savoy Brown’s Leader, Kim Simmonds. Does that make me a Stoner?

    I can dig it…if it feels good do it.

  38. In fact, I’ve even seen “Muslins” on some Tea Party rally signs ~ I guess a few folks are mad at certain lightweight fabrics.

  39. I drive a Porsche 911. It is likely driven by liberals and conservatives alike; truly is a car that “reaches across the aisle”. Get a couple of Porsche drivers together and I guarantee they will hit it off – regardless of their political affiliation. A post-partisan car if there ever were one!

  40. The Subaru Estate was voted car of the year several times. Alas it was not the car of the landed gentry so much as the car preferred by tenant farmers in jolly old England.

  41. My husband Kelly races a Porsche in autocross on weekends. The last couple of years he has shared the cost of racing tires with a guy named Ed, who shares the racing. Ed is to the right of Genghis Kahn, and would make his views known while they were in line, until my husband divulged his political persuasion, suggesting that they would never agree. Ed seemed stunned, and returned the following weekend with this report of a conversation with his wife:

    Ed: There’s something I gotta tell you about Kelly. It’s bad.

    Ed’s Wife: Is he gay?

    Ed: No. It’s worse. He’s a liberal.

    Ed’s Wife: What are you gonna do?

    They still race together.

  42. I absolutely LOVE that story, Kit. Thank you for sharing it. The car, in this case, is just a proxy for our interests at large. Our political leanings are but one interest that we have. Though your husband and Ed differ politically, they probably share common interests in hundreds of other ways. And that’s why they enjoy spending time together. Somewhere along the way, a lot of us have been led to believe that people with different political views than our own should be our sworn enemies. Seems absolutely silly to me.

  43. The airplanes:

    Pork Roll, thanks for the link, though most of the jets I see early in the morning come over the mountain heading toward EWR to land. From that high up on the hill I can see them make the big curve to the right toward Newark in front of the NYC skyline. The other morning this huge jet was so low coming over the reservation I thought something was wrong. Luckily not.

    Howard Beale, you should get those paddles and taxi those planes into the terminal like in the movie Airplane!

    deadeye, I see the small planes sometimes too, most likely from the Caldwell airport in Fairfield.

    SOBA, I like it. A bit broad though. That’s everything from Mission Street to Llewellyn Park.

  44. LoL, Liberals are funny, they “Think” they know everything because they “Feel” it. I like how the writer said “Practical”. There is more to it. I have been in the auto insurance and repair industry for over 15 years, and have seen the types for each car. I do agree Cons/Lib drive certain cars and have driving habits. The liberal cars as you listed are more likely to be At Fault in a collision. That is one of the first things I noticed. Volvo Drivers are the worst of them all. What you call practical, I call outward impression. I have many liberal friends, they care more about what other people think or how they are looked at by others. Image is huge, no not so much status, Not to say that is not important to them. But how others would criticize.

    They also base their purchase on how much LESS it costs to operate. Liberals are more about how much they Don’t Spend (unless it is on vacation, they also vacation more “Fact”)and how much they get paid.

    Conservatives are more about what they “EARN” and what they can pay for from what they earned themselves.

    In short Liberals base their decisions on what would be Popular and excepted and loved by everyone in a status or elite image. (sounds kinda insecure to me) Conservatives are more self reliant, let me “Earn” it, let me buy it, let me live my life my way without being in a collective borg version of slavery.

    BTW (Segway comment) conservatives freed the slaves. Democrats wanted the Indian reservations. Read about A. Jackson to see the real difference of conservative and liberal. Being an American Indian myself I have soft spot for freedom.

  45. My dad wrote Obama when we got rid of the Lexus hybrid and got a GMC and asked if he was going to be penalized for going back to an all-gas vehicle or if he could be the recipient of a credit for buying American again. I wish I made a copy.

    Our house is pretty split when it comes to party affiliation. My Family was a Ford family for quite some time though.

    Since ’86 and up to today (and now with 4 drivers): Mercury Wagon, Topaz, Explorer, Town Car, Explorer, Volvo 960, Expedition, Jag, Jag, Lexus 400h, Jag, Grand Cherokee, Jag, Lexus 400h, GMC Acadia, Escape, EClass.

    Now we have a ford, a gmc and a Jeep in the driveway (oh and ze German).’Merica.

    My cover is probably blown now.

Comments are closed.