Donkeys, Elephants and Drinks: What you drink says something about how you vote

17 Apr

Like Dr. Pepper? What about Fiji water?

If you answered yes to both of those questions, according to this article in the New York Times by Kim Severson, you’re probably a Republican.

Democrats are more likely to drink Pepsi-Cola, Sprite, Evian, gin, vodka and white wine.

Is this a case of taking data a little too far or do affinities for these drinks really determine how you vote?

The article goes on to explain the concept of microtargeting. By matching the brands that you are likely to like, they can figure out your demographic fingerprint and therefore how likely you are to vote (and thus whether or not they should send you a mailer). Democrats tend to skew toward more Whole Food-y type drinks and food, while Republicans are more likely to like heartier places. There are even differences among Democrats: Obama’s fans are more likely to love lattes and arugula (they are more likely to be part of the professional middle class) while Hillaristas are more likely to shop at Wal-Mart and eat frozen meals (her voters tend to be more lower class whites).

But, as we all know, microtargeting can most definitely miss the target. I love Starbucks, arugula, Whole Foods — by all political food data reasoning, I should love Obama. But I must admit, I’m not an Obama girl.

My take? The food microtargeting has gone a bit far. People and pollsters should really be focusing on the real issues rather than on how Republicans and Democrats prefer different types of drinks.

As an aside, I thought this was very cute: When the owners of Ben & Jerry’s endorsed Obama, he proposed a ice cream new flavor:

“Yes, Pecan!”

Love it.

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Posted by on April 17, 2008 in Food Reads


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