Top Cars for Democrats and Republicans


In case you haven’t heard, it’s an election year, and it now appears as if (finally!) the presidential matchup is set, with Republican Sen. John McCain facing off against Democratic Sen. Barack Obama.

With cars and politics constantly on the brain, we thought we’d look at the qualities that help define the two major parties and see which cars fit their worldviews. Of course, this is merely our take — neither party, as far as we know, has come up with an endorsed lineup of cars. As you’ll see below, that’s a good thing.

In a snapshot, you could argue that Republicans are interested in American-made cars (but not so much in unions), are fiscally conservative (read: cheap), in favor of tax cuts and credits, less government regulation, and a strong U.S., both militarily and economically. Democrats are likely more environmentally focused fans of safety regulations, big fans of unions, and interested in diversity and social progressivism.

There are a few cars that work for both parties, and others that are strict partisans. Keep reading for details.

Bitter Rivals: Cars the Parties Just Can’t Agree On

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Toyota Corolla
Republicans: A small car with a small engine from a Japanese company? With less than 160 hp? Why don’t we nominate Janeane Garofalo to the Supreme Court while we’re at it?

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Dodge Challenger
Now you’re talking: A red-meat engine, looks that take us straight back to the glory days of 1970s American muscle cars, and enough horsepower to make PETA weep. Let’s kick some … er, sorry. Got a bit carried away there.

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Democrats: It’s the wrong message at the wrong time. Sure, no one plays “Born to Be Wild” while tearing out of a gravel parking lot in a Prius, but mark our words, driving that muscle-car engine would be like taking a sledgehammer to your liberal cred. And think of the emissions! (Shudder.)


Smart ForTwo
While a rolling metaphor of our love for small government, it’s an import and just a little too distinctive-looking. In a bad way. Plus, it’s impossible to fit our big tent into anything named “ForTwo.”



Democrats: Good fuel efficiency bolsters your environmental bonafides, plus it has hipness a hybrid can’t match. Think of it as an iPhone for those unwilling to dirty themselves on public transportation. Still, it might not be the safest car out there; you might as well be on a bicycle. Now, there’s an idea…

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BMW 7 Series
We drive a 7 Series because we pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps to get it and, dammit, we deserve one. It may be imported, but it reeks of power.


Democrats: We’d consider the 7 Series because its cupholders are big enough for a 22-ounce latte and its radio plays NPR in high-def. Not even donating to MoveOn will assuage our guilt over its bad gas mileage and foreign pedigree.


Cadillac Escalade
Screams, “I’m an important official/businessperson/movie star/NBA player, and man, I want you to know it!”

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Democrats: Screams, “I’m single-handedly melting the Arctic ice cap, drowning a baby polar bear and buying a Saudi prince a new golden toothbrush, and I don’t care who knows it!” The hybrid version might get an additional donkey.


Strange Bedfellows: Cars That Appeal to Both Sides of the Aisle


Ford F-150
We drive the American-built F-150 because Pat Buchanan says it’s un-American to send your money overseas.

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Democrats: We drive the American-built F-150 because Lou Dobbs says it’s un-American to send your money overseas.

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Chevrolet Corvette
We’d drive the ‘Vette because it’s the only 430-hp car that avoids the gas-guzzler tax. What good is power if you can’t use it to avoid taxes?

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Democrats: We’d drive the ‘Vette because it’s as American as apple pie, an icon to boot, and because our tort settlement allowed us to pay cash for it.

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Lexus LS 600h 
Self-parking and a hybrid engine? Stylish, powerful and roomy? What’s not to endorse? OK, the $100K+ price tag and the Japanese nameplate.


Democrats: A hybrid with pizzazz? A high-tech monster with better than 20 mpg? What’s not to love? Well, that $100K+ price tag seems a little — er, what’s the word? Elitist.

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Ford Escape Hybrid
We’d invest in an Escape Hybrid and hold on to some of that bootstrap money when we reap those awesome tax credits come April 15. Plus, Mitt Romney drives one.

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Democrats: The best fuel economy of any SUV, matched with solidarity for the UAW workers who built it. Plus, Barack Obama drives one.

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Chevy Aveo
Republicans are the party of fiscal conservatism, so we’d totally buy the dirt-cheap Chevy Aveo … that is, if it didn’t involve us actually driving a Chevy Aveo.

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Democrats: Republicans bungled the budget when they were in power! Democrats are now the party of fiscal conservatism, so we’re totally buying the dirt-cheap Chevy Aveo … except it’s still a Chevy Aveo.


We realize we only hit on 10 vehicles here (surely, there are some Dems who think leaving out the Prius was heretical), so let us know what you think. What partisan and bipartisan cars can you come up with?

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