Bush Trails Gore in Used Car Salesman Survey

By Scott Hogenson | July 7, 2008 | 8:26 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - The political season has spawned more than its fair share of hypothetical poll questions over the years: Who would you rather have baby-sit your kids? Who would you rather have for a neighbor? For 2000, the question is "Which presidential candidate would you buy a used car from?"

Entitled 'The Road to the White House,' the tongue-in-cheek survey is being conducted by AutoTrader.com, an Internet-based outlet for people buying and selling cars. As of September 1, more survey participants would rather buy a used car from Democrat Al Gore than Republican George W. Bush.

The survey, which the company describes as "an unscientific yet quite accurate poll of the candidates" wasn't entirely on the mark last Friday, with Gore holding a commanding 57-41 lead over Bush. A Gallup Poll released late last week showed Bush one point ahead of Gore among adults, while a Research 2000 survey showed Gore holding a four-point edge among registered voters. "Maybe it's not so accurate," said AutoTrader.com spokeswoman Cori Barrett. "But it's all in great fun."

The poll also takes a cue from the defunct television show My Mother the Car by asking visitors what make and model your favorite candidate would be if he was an automobile. As the Labor Day weekend was getting underway, a plurality of participants considers Bush a Porsche 911, while Gore is most often characterized as a Volvo station wagon.

Other comments submitted by survey participants provided a miniature focus group on how some in the used-car market view the two contenders. One visitor described Gore as a Volkswagon Microbus, saying "Republicans don't buy used cars!" Another described Bush as an AM General Hummer, saying he's "tough enough to get the job done." Also emerging from the poll were comments indicating that some participants considered both Gore and Bush conservative.

Barrett said the current poll question was asked because "used-car salesmen kind of get a bad rap usually," and that the company "wanted to offer its 1.5 million monthly visitors a chance to sound off politically."

"While we recognize that it's tongue-and-cheek to vote for a politician based on what kind of used car they'd buy, we wanted to appeal to our audience in a language they'd recognize - used cars," said Barrett.

Some 40,000 used-car dealerships nationwide are affiliated with the Atlanta-based company, which logged more than two million leads for used cars during the month of June, according to Barrett.

But web surfers who want to weigh in on whether they'd rather buy a used car from the vice president or the governor of Texas are running out of time. Barrett said the company plans to post two new questions later this week, asking people what an appropriate bumper stick might be for each of the candidates along with preferences on how they would accessorize Gore and Bush if they were cars instead of candidates. "You know, like fuzzy dice," said Barrett.