( Les Dunseith, Los Angeles Times / August 3, 2012 )
Each bubble in this chart represents an American chain restaurant (or in one case, a store). The relative bubble sizes are based on the percentage of American adults surveyed by Scarborough Research who reported patronizing a particular outlet in the previous 30 days (except the Whole Foods bubble, which is based on reporting of the previous seven days’ consumption). About 42% of respondents, for example, reported going to McDonald’s, while just 2% reported going to Hooters. About 11% said they’d eaten at Chick-fil-A. The bubbles were placed on the chart according to what those surveyed reported to be their political leanings and their likelihood of voting. Thus, a chain with a clientele that is heavily Republican and likely to vote would be placed in the upper right, whereas a chain whose clientele skewed Democratic and unlikely to vote would end up on the lower left. So what can we glean? Chick-fil-A’s customers are among the most Republican in the country, but they’re less likely to vote than Cracker Barrel diners. Well-to-do urban Democrats are buying takeout and groceries at Whole Foods, and they vote. Socioeconomic status, urbanism and regional geography shape the partisanship and voting behavior of restaurant customers. High-turnout voters of both parties are more likely to be found at sit-down chains, where they can afford the higher tabs.