Tom Daschle: 1986 Pontiac
In his 1986 campaign for Senate, Tom Daschle made the definitive statement against chauffeured Washington politicians in this iconic political ad starring his 1971 Pontiac.
The irony here? Nearly 30 years later, Daschle was forced to drop his bid for Secretary of Health and Human Services after revelations he owed $140,000 in unpaid taxes. Daschle defended himself by claiming that he grew so used to having a car and a driver as Senate majority leader that he did not realize he would have to pay taxes on chauffer services when he left office for a consulting firm.
Daschle isn’t the first prairie populist to lose himself in Washington, and he probably won’t be the last. But he certainly showed political consultants that dusty cars and beat up pick up trucks are quick visual shorthand for “one of us.”
Rodney Lee Conover: Candidate for Congress California’s 8th District
More recently, we have Rodney Lee Conover, a Republican running for congress in California’s 8th district. Conover uses his 1972 Ford Ranchero as an extended metaphor to describe Republicans “Just like Republicans in congress, it’s unreliable.”
Scott Brown: Hey, Dad
Scott Brown’s pickup truck was central to his 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate. When Obama shot back against Brown’s surging campaign by warning voters “to look under the hood,” Brown responded, “When he criticized my truck, that’s where I draw the line.” Good to know.
Scott Brown is just one of many Republicans to use a pickup truck in a campaign spot. The reason for this is simple – it works. Studies have found that no car is more Republican than a pick up truck, with one CNW Marketing Research survey finding that “The No. 1 vehicle bought by millionaires is the Ford F-Series pickup truck,” according to Art Spinella, president of CNW.
Also over indexing for Republicans are SUVs, Land Rovers and Jaguars. Scarborough Research also found that more Porsche owners identified as Republican more than any other car, while Volvo would probably be the most “Democratic” car.
Warren Chisum: Conservative Values
Of course, Warren Chisum shows us that it’s not necessary that a Republican candidate use a high-horsepower truck to appeal to voters. What can also be just as effective? Riding around on horseback.
Hillary Clinton: No Car
And then we have Hillary, who takes a different approach all together…