Food preferences predict voting

If what we eat says a lot about who we are, it also says something about how we might vote, reports The New York Times. Political advisers to the presidential candidates are looking closely at consumer behavior, including how people eat. Called microtargeting, it predicts our political bent based on the brands we buy and how we spend our free time. Small groups of like-minded people are targeted with customized phone, e-mail or direct mail messages to potential supporters. Although gender, religion and other basic personal data are much more valuable for pollsters, information about eating — along with travel and hobbies — are in the second tier of data used to predict how someone might vote. In fact, the strategy helped send George Bush back to the White House for a second term. If there’s butter and white wine in your refrigerator and Fig Newtons in the cookie jar, you’re likely to vote for Hillary. If you keep olive oil, Bear Naked granola and sip lattes, Barack is your man. If you’d rather kick back with bourbon and a stuffed crust pizza, John McCain might be the ticket. On the beverage front, Republicans skew toward bourbon, scotch, red wine, Fiji water and Dr Pepper. Democrats prefer Pepsi-Cola, Sprite, gin and vodka, white wine, Evian water and anything organic. Microtargeting has its detractors, but it sure makes political campaigns more fun. The New York Times

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