Party Affiliation Affects Brand Preference (Ugh)

Today in Almost Certainly Meaningless News: Many Americans consider their political affiliations to be a private matter and prefer not to discuss related issues at family gatherings in order to avoid fistfights; most would almost certainly insist that party affiliation has nothing to do with the products they buy.

But a recent survey by the respectable YouGov Brand Index indicates that political leanings and brand preference are at least somehow related:

The top ten most favored brands for:

Democrats Republicans Independents
Google Fox News Amazon
Amazon History Channel Craftsman
Cheerios Craftsman History Channel
Clorox Chick-fil-A Discovery Channel
Craftsman Johnson & Johnson Google
Dawn Lowe’s Clorox
M&M’s Cheerios Lowe’s
Levi’s Clorox Johnson & Johnson
PBS FOX Cheerios
Sony Discovery Channel M&M’s

Some of these “revelations” are so obvious as to be annoying: Lots of registered Republicans watch Fox News, and lots of registered Democrats listen to NPR. Next you’ll tell us that most registered Republicans prefer Mitt Romney to Barack Obama!

Most of the list is just confusing.

Why is Google number one for Democrats? Do they know how much energy the company’s data centers waste? Do Republicans prefer Bing and Barnes and Noble to Google and Amazon? Why would fewer Democrats watch The Discovery Channel (we admit that the quality of its programming has declined in recent years, but still…)? And why does everyone love Clorox so much? Are all bleaches not created equal? Independents, of course, just can’t be pinned down…

OK, last question: When everyone says they like Cheerios, do they mean plain or Honey Nut? Sticking to the issues.

The only real lesson to draw from this survey is that, when party standard-bearers mention a brand (like Obama praising GM or Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee supporting Chick-Fil-A), affiliated voters tend to grow more conscious of said brands—and develop positive opinions of them in turn.

But mostly, it’s all just giving us a headache. We can’t wait for this election to be over.

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.