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a different type of "poll"

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Your Car Reveals Your Voting Habits





November 3, 2008


Tomorrow, some of you will help select the next president of the United States. In the never-ending stream of polls comes one that any car lover can appreciate.


According to research by automotive price guide Kelley Blue Book; your vehicle preference reveals your political preference.


The company says that Sen. John McCain leads among owners of domestic and luxury cars, including GMC (61 percent of owners prefer McCain), Chevrolet (60 percent), Buick and Dodge (58 percent), Ford (57 percent), Lexus, BMW and Lincoln (52 percent). Kelley's research also finds that 66 percent of full-sized truck owners support McCain, as do owners of SUVs (61 percent) and luxury SUVs (61 percent).


Meanwhile, Sen. Barack Obama leads among import owners, including Mini (70 percent), Subaru (61 percent), Saab (59 percent) and Honda (50 percent). Fifty-nine percent of station wagon owners support Obama, as do owners of hatchbacks (55 percent), crossover SUVs (52 percent) and hybrids (48 percent).


Rick Wainschel, senior vice president of marketing and analytics for Kelley Blue Book, said strong sales of those vehicles align with states where a particular candidate is leading in the polls.


What's the bottom line?


In the past two presidential elections, Wainschel says the Blue Book's findings have accurately predicted the winner. This year's research shows McCain winning over Obama, 47 percent to 46 percent. But, if you add in the margin of error, it becomes a dead heat. So the Blue Book people didn't predict a winner this year.


Compare those results to the cars that the candidates drive, and you'll find the picture gets a bit murkier.


Late last year, Obama bought a 2008 Ford Escape hybrid SUV after widespread reports about his previous ride, a Chrysler 300C with a 340-horsepower Hemi V8.


McCain drives a Cadillac CTS luxury sedan. McCain's garage is also home to a number of vehicles in his wife's name, including a 2000 Lincoln, 2001 GMC SUV, 2001 Honda sedan, 2005 Volkswagen convertible, 2007 Ford pickup, 2008 Jeep and a 1960 Jeep.


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