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The secret ballot is one of the hallmarks of American democracy, but even if you’re not tweeting a selfie or posting your party preference on Facebook, you just might be tipping the world off because of the car you’ve driven over to the poll.
If you’ve pulled up in a pickup, odds are high that you’re casting a vote for Donald Trump. A compact crossover-utility vehicle? You’re more likely to be flicking the lever in favor of Hillary Clinton.
In a survey of 170,000 vehicles owners who identify with one party or another, automotive research firm Strategic Vision identified some clear, partisan choices.
Among Republicans, the survey found their top five vehicles are all pickups: the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, Ram 1500, Ford F250/350 and the Ram 2500/3500. That fits into their desire for vehicles that are rugged, powerful and prestigious.
Around 44 percent of Democrats said they’d be comfortable driving in an autonomous vehicle, but only 29 percent of GOP voters were fond of that idea.
While Strategic Vision found GOP-leaning motorists tended to be older, married white males, the study showed that Democrats are a more diverse group that, on the whole, tends to have a higher level of education. They’re more interested in green vehicles that are cool and also more economical.
Their top five cars include four small utility vehicles — the Subaru Outback and Crosstrek models, the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4 — as well as the compact Honda Civic.
As for Independents, they want vehicles that can be described as functional, reliable and sensible. That includes top picks that resemble the Democratic list, with four SUVs and a compact SUV, the Toyota Tacoma.
The second survey looked at how online shoppers feel about the upcoming era of autonomous driving. Conducted by Autotrader.com, it found Democrats are far more comfortable with the idea of letting the car do the driving,58 percent saying they expect autonomous vehicles will make people better drivers. Only 44 percent of Republicans agreed with that idea.
That said, only 44 percent of Democrats said they’d be comfortable driving in an autonomous vehicle, with a meager 29 percent of GOP voters liking that idea.
Incidentally, another online survey commissioned by Swapalease.com back in September asked 2,500 drivers what cars they most identified with. Democrats and women listed a Tesla while Republicans and men pointed to the Chevrolet Corvette.