If President Obama were a car, what kind of car would he be?
“If President Obama was a car, what kind of car would he be and why?”
That’s the question Resurgent Republic, a Republican-led polling conglomerate, asked a group of independents in Colorado and Virginia who had voted for the president in 2008.
The answers are incredibly illuminating, providing a window into how a critical swing bloc of the electorate thinks about the current occupant of the White House.
(Sidebar: The Fix is a BIG fan of these sorts of questions being asked in focus groups. A few months back we wrote about a Democratic-led focus group that asked people who President Obama would be in their fifth grade class.)
The full findings of the Resurgent Republic focus groups are below but GOP pollster Glen Bolger summed up the results nicely in a memo distributed today. Wrote Bolger:
“Voters who still approve of President Obama do not perceive him as a risky choice, but on the other spectrum, voters who disapprove believe he hasn’t delivered and question whether he can change course moving forward.”
Among the most fascinating answers to the “if Obama was a car” question (in our mind):
* Toyota Minivan: “He seems like a family person, so I put a nice minivan.”
* Kia: “He’s sort of new and sort of reliable, but I don’t have enough information on him.”
* Edsel: “It might have a good engine underneath, but out of touch with reality.”
Taken together it’s clear that those independents who continue to support Obama do so in large part to his image as a good family man and as a reliable and steady performer in office. Those who backed him in 2008 but have since parted company tend to view him as someone who looked good but disappointed, someone with lots of style but not much substance.
And, yes, you should always take any polling data from a partisan group with a grain of salt. But, remember that these are independents who voted for President Obama in 2008, which, to us, makes the findings all the more intriguing.
The full responses are below. (You can see them in a bigger format here.)