Did Obama do better among African-Americans or Prius owners?
May 21, 2010 6:15 AM   Subscribe

Did Barack Obama recieve a higher percentage of votes in the 2008 presidential election from African-Americans, or from Toyota Prius owners?

Or, if Prius-specific numbers aren't available, how about hybrid cars in general?
posted by box to Society & Culture (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've never, ever heard of exit polling based on automotive drivetrain. What argument is this meant to settle, exactly?
posted by mhoye at 6:18 AM on May 21, 2010

Are those two supposed to be mutually exclusive?
posted by Xany at 6:22 AM on May 21, 2010

No one is going to have these numbers. It's kind of a silly thing to ask, don't you think? I mean, sure, fun, but still silly.
posted by valkyryn at 6:24 AM on May 21, 2010

Best answer: 96% of black voters voted for Obama. There probably aren't any records of who voted for which 2008 presidential candidate based on vehicle ownership. It's very unlikely that over 96% of voters who own any particular product voted for Obama.
posted by Jaltcoh at 6:30 AM on May 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

Anecdotally, I regularly see a Prius on my commute (SF to Silicon Valley) that has a McCain/Palin bumper sticker on it. So that's one that voted Republican. Or it's an ironic sticker. Who knows?
posted by rtha at 6:31 AM on May 21, 2010

Using numbers harvested at random from google I come up with 18 million african-american votes for Obama (+/- 5 million, wikipedia tampering etc) vs 600,000 priuses sold in the US.

If you ask me, Muhammed Ali in his prime was much better than anti-lock brakes.
posted by samj at 6:37 AM on May 21, 2010

Eh, this isn't going to exist, but we can try and cobble something together.

According to this article Prius and hybrid owners tend to make more money and are a bit older than other car buyers.

According to CNN's exit polling people making $100k or more a year and older than 50 tended to break around 50/50 for Obama.

According to the same exit polling, 95% of African Americans voted for Obama. So, even though we don't have solid numbers on this, it would seem that is it not likely.
posted by munchingzombie at 6:40 AM on May 21, 2010

Yes, but Prius owners are a specific subset of those making $100k and older than 50. You can't generalize on that basis. Anyone willing to pay a premium on better mpg is going to be skewed from the mainstream. No way to know for sure, though.
posted by rikschell at 6:47 AM on May 21, 2010

Best answer: here's an extremely unscientific poll of prius owners. plenty of conservatives.
posted by acidic at 6:55 AM on May 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Based on acidic's comment and my previous comment, I'm going to say the answer to your question is that a higher percentage of black voters than Prius owners voted for Obama.
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:00 AM on May 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

It's very unlikely that over 96% of voters who own any particular product voted for Obama.

I would think that over 96 percent of people who have Obama bumper stickers voted for Obama.

Also, if you drive long enough distances regularly then a hybrid car might be a reasonable choice purely on economic grounds. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that there's an area somewhere where there are a lot of Priuses just because people drive long distances. And long drives might be more common in sparsely populated areas where people tend to vote Republican.
posted by madcaptenor at 7:47 AM on May 21, 2010

Conservatives might own Priuses to get off foreign oil, just to give you an analytic framework.
posted by Dasein at 8:26 AM on May 21, 2010

Just another data point: Sideshow Bob, a Republican, drove a Prius in his recent appearance.
posted by i8ny3x at 9:41 AM on May 21, 2010

I worked at an alternative fuels/biodiesel startup in 2006, and about half our customers were conservatives who wanted to get off foreign oil / use American-grown fuel / stop giving our money to them A-rabs. Some of them drove priuses as their daily driver and had us convert their picukups / tractors to grease deisel.
posted by Jon_Evil at 10:22 AM on May 21, 2010

Best answer: You already have your answer, but just to show that research *has* been done on this:

Just before the election, a Kelley Blue Book poll found Obama had a nine point lead over McCain among hybrid owners.

Given that McCain had 13 cars, and Obama just one, and Obama's was a hybrid, I'd say he should have been doing better among green drivers.

A 2007 study of hybrid owners found 38% are Democrats, 14% are Republicans and 34% are independents. Independents broke for Obama in 2008, but that still leaves a lot of hybrid-owning Republicans.

A 2004 survey
found 56% of hybrid drivers are Democrats, and 14% are Republicans.

This guy looked for Democratic primary voting patterns among Prius owners after an Ohio Clinton surrogate dismissed Obama voters as "I've got news for all the latte-drinking, Prius-driving, Birkenstock-wearing, trust fund babies." He found no patterns.

That research led to this blog post, where an array of Prius owners commented about how much they hate Obama.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:12 AM on May 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

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