Democrats Are From Starbucks, Republicans Are From Visa

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (R) called for the Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day. (Getty)
Can you tell a person's political affiliation from where they do their shopping? According to "global neuro-insight firm" Buyology, you can. And Buyology's come up with some peculiar political observations from the world of retail.

Republicans and Democrats diverge sharply on certain issues -- gun control, taxation, and gay rights, to name a few. Recently, that last issue spilled over into the consumer market, when chicken sandwich hawker Chick-fil-A took a vocal stance in defense of "traditional marriage." This feathery kerfuffle surprised a lot of folks. But according to Buyology, political parties have been drawing lines defining business brands as "red" or "blue" for quite some time.

Some of these are obvious -- and pun-fully so. For example, many Democrats describe themselves as "progressive." But did you know they also tend to buy insurance from Progressive (PGR)? (Republicans prefer Allstate (ALL)).

Republicans, historically a conservative bunch, spend their TV-watching time at -- you guessed it -- the History Channel. Meanwhile, their peers from the left side of the aisle tune into Meerkat Manor on Animal Planet.

Other allegiances are more surprising. For example, Buyology argues that Democrats may prefer companies purveying top-down, one-size-fits-all, packaged solutions, while Republicans are "more laissez-faire." This would explain Dems' preference for Wendy's (WEN) menu of meal deals, while Republicans dine at Subway, where each ingredient on a sandwich is handpicked by the consumer.

Democratic-republican favorites

Still, this theory fails to explain why Democrats gravitate toward Starbucks -- the mecca of personalized beverage-choosing, or why Republicans join their left-wing brethren in making "locked-box" computer maker Apple their top choice for technology.

Brands to Bank On

Buyology admits it's hard to nail down why one party or another prefers a particular business, but if its data are correct, that's not really the point. The point is that knowing which businesses a demographic favors may help us to invest more intelligently.

Whether Barack Obama or Mitt Romney wins the White House this year, one thing's certain: Come November, one party or another will win the majority in America. It stands to reason that businesses popular with this voting majority will attract more customers than those catering to the outnumbered losers. The biggest winner in 2012 may be the winning party's "same-store sales."

Motley Fool contributor Rich Smith holds no position in any company mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Starbucks. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple and Starbucks, creating a bull call spread position in Apple, writing naked calls on Dunkin' Brands Group, and writing covered calls on Starbucks.

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The only problem with this analysis is why did Pelosi buy a bunch of Visa stock (just prior to credit card legislation)? Likewise why did Boehner buy a bunch of health care stock (just prior to the drug part C local drug manufacturer subsidy)?

If investments were political than these investments should have been reversed. I suspect investments are not political but more opportunities.

The only thing we know for certain is the Romney-Ryan plan is to increase military spending so investments in Boeing, Halliburton and the like will do well. On the other hand if the Democrats gain 50% of the House then the increase in expenditure will be on Roads, Bridges and Airports so large Contractor Firms will fair well.

Best advice is to diversify and count on loosing on one side of the political ledger and gaining on the other. Best prediction at this point is that the Republican will get the Presidency and the Democrats will get the House and Senate. Thus nothing will change and nothing will get done. The automatic cuts in December will absolutely occur.

August 21 2012 at 11:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Are you better off under Obama? Bought gas lately? $1.89 then $3.71 now.
Washington, D.C. - Tuesday evening Republicans in the U.S. Senate succeeded in their mission to block Democratic attempts to remove $21 billion in subsidies which the five largest oil companies presently receive from U.S taxpayers.

By blocking this legislation, the Republicans once again have increased the deficit and in turn they have increased the national debt.

The cloture vote for the Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act had 52 yeas and 48 nays. A cloture vote needs a total of 60 votes before moving to the final simple majority vote.

Joining the Republicans in the nay vote against removing the tax loopholes of the oil companies were Democratic Senators Mark Begich of Alaska, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, and Ben Nelson of Nebraska.

Joining the Democrats in support of the removal of tax loopholes were Republican Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, both from Maine.

Independent Senators Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Bernie Sanders of Vermont also voted yea for the removal of the loopholes.

The five oil companies which would have been affected by the bill are BP, ConocoPhillips, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, and Shell, removing $21 billion in tax breaks over a ten year period.

According to The Hill, stating the need to apply the savings to lowering the deficit, Democrats plan to continue to push for the removal of the subsidies as they continue talks with the GOP on the 2012 federal budget and the on the debt ceiling debate.

Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told reporters after the vote, “I am confident that before we finish our budget negotiations here in anticipation of raising the debt ceiling that that will be part of it.”

Even after oil companies continue to make record profits off of the American people, subsidies to these companies are set to continue indefinitely into the future costing the taxpayers billions of dollars. Despite record profits and billions in subsidies, oil companies continue to overcharge as for gasoline and other products critical to the lives and the economy of Americans and America.


August 21 2012 at 10:01 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to blockheadpartyto's comment

jdykbpl45, I thought the republicans wanted to cut the spending. Here they added $21 billion dollars to our debt by giving corporate welfare away to BIG OIL companies who are already making record profits at the pump.

August 21 2012 at 10:06 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Tampa strip clubs get poles ready for pols attending GOP convention
7/27/2012 Family values, family smalues. Republicans are converging on Tampa, Fla., at the end of August for the GOP’s national convention, and strip clubs in the area are getting ready to capitalize. One venue is dressing its dancers in red, white and blue corsets and serving similarly colored vodka, while another club is installing a limo-sized tent to shield VIPs from prying eyes. Angelina Spencer, who runs the Association of Club Executives, says Republicans tend to spend more than Dems when they visit strip clubs during convention week. “The average was $150 for Republicans and $50 for Democrats,” she said. What do you expect from Grand Old Partiers? [Source]

August 21 2012 at 9:25 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

i believe that the dem o rats are from starbucks . Who else would pay 5 buck for a dollar cup of coffee. They are like the people in the The Emperor's New Clothes.

August 21 2012 at 7:40 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rini1946's comment

It's real easy for the Democrats to buy $5 cups of coffee because no dems ever pay for anything anyway. They just run up debt and then cry for the republicans to foot the bill for it all.

August 21 2012 at 11:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Who ever wrote this from motley fool was born on the planet UR-ANUS.........

August 21 2012 at 4:00 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Are you better off under Obama? Bought gas lately? $1.89 then $3.71 now.

August 21 2012 at 3:48 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jdykbpl45's comment

If you really believe that whoever occupies the White House ultimately determines the price of a gallon of gas, then I will remind you that price at the pump spiked in August of 2005, when Mr George W Bush occupied the Oval Office. By one report, "One BP station in Stockbridge, Georgia, south of Atlanta, was selling gas at $5.87 per gallon."* By your logic, we should blame the policies of the Republican administration at that time, or, more realistically, we could acknowledge that there were other factors at work that were beyond the control of politicians - in that instance, the effect of Hurricane Katrina on oil production in and around the Gulf of Mexico.

I'm not claiming that governmental policies have no effect on the price of goods, but it is a bit simplistic to gauge the success or failure of a particular administration on a single metric without any larger context.


August 21 2012 at 4:46 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to JFranz's comment

I'm not claiming that governmental policies have no effect on the price of goods, but it is a bit simplistic to gauge the success or failure of a particular administration on a single metric without any larger context.

so when an administration's POLICIES ARE RESPONSIBLE for the increased price of fuel resulting in an across the board INCREASE OF BASICALLY EVERYTHING,
on top of THIS SAME ADMINISTRATION'S bs stim programs and give aways RAISING THE TAXES

you really better be joking.

August 21 2012 at 7:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

Good thing Obama built the roads to all those places.... now he wants to own your business......

August 21 2012 at 3:13 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to cpo1514's comment

If it was up the the republicans.....they would let the roads crumble away.

August 21 2012 at 9:22 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply