About

Political Bumpers is an unscientific study of the correlation between the cars Americans drive and the way we vote. Almost two dozen volunteer “spotters” of various political leanings scattered throughout the country record information about cars sporting political bumper stickers. Real-time reports are then available, detailing how types and makes of vehicles correspond to political leaning.

Some other notes:

  • Any third party candidates are classified as “other.” In 2004, there was a Green Party designation, but sadly there weren’t enough to warrant keeping it as a separate designation this time around.
  • If a car’s political leaning cannot be determined or displays contradicting stickers (both McCain and Obama stickers), it’s classified as “other.”
  • Generally, if a submission cannot be determined to be a specific type of car (for instance, a model that could be either a sedan or a wagon), it’s not entered the database. The same goes for submissions that were “unclear” as to the type of vehicle for any other reason.
  • Cars without a specific make/model are included as long as they could be classified as a certain type of vehicle.
  • Spotters were allowed to count their own cars if they were displaying a bumper sticker.

The data collected for 2008 is very similar to 2004 with only minor database schema changes. The project runs from late September through November 2 at midnight, with a summary being posted on November 3, the day before election day.

Let me know if you have any questions and be sure to check out 2004’s data.