Does the Soda You Drink Reveal How You Vote?

ByABC News via logo
November 2, 2006, 7:57 AM

Nov. 5, 2006 — -- Sprite or Dr Pepper? Audi or Saab? Bourbon or vodka?

Such lifestyle choices say as much about you as whether you approve of the job the president is doing.

Political groups are now utilizing information advertisers and corporate America have been exploiting for years by finding out your consumer preferences and using that data to get you to buy their product -- in this case, their politicians.

"There is something about a product choice that tells people a sense of who they are," said Matthew Dowd, President Bush's pollster and co-author of "Applebee's America: How Successful Political, Business and Religious Leaders Connect With the New American Community."

The practice is called "microtargeting," and it shows that people who like Dr Pepper and monster trucks tend to be more Republican, while people who choose Sprite and pro wrestling are more likely to be Democrats.

Every time you use your credit card, book a flight, or surf the Internet, you leave a data trail of products you like. Political groups purchase that information from consumer data banks such as Axciom, and combine it with census information, voter lists, information about membership in political groups, and other public records such as whether or not you own a hunting license.

After creating a master list for a specific state or region, they poll thousands of people in that area to see how to categorize voters.

"This data-mining allows you to create profiles at each of these states or communities depending on the size of the election you're running in," said Doug Sosnik, a Democratic strategist and co-author of "Applebee's America."

"You're able to go into those places, and off of those profiles, [you can find out] ... who these people are and where they live, by household, so you can go directly to them to communicate," Sosnik said.

Last week we met up with Trina Handler - a Columbus, Ohio, mother of four -- and gave her a quiz to find out how lives her life, what water she drinks, the car she drives, the magazines she reads --