Food Politics: Like Bagels? You're a Democrat!
Business + Economy

Food Politics: Like Bagels? You're a Democrat!

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

When you’re at the breakfast buffet at a hotel and the guy in front of you chooses the donut instead of the bagel, he’s probably a Republican. 

According to a new poll out Tuesday from the Public Policy Polling (PPP) organization in Raleigh, N.C., Democrats and Republicans are so polarized in today’s political climate they “can’t even agree about food.”

The report shows that Democrats are the “party of bagels (34 percent) and croissants (32 percent)” – while Republicans favor donuts (35 percent).

The poll also reports that Republicans “narrowly believe that Olive Garden constitutes ‘a quality source of authentic ethnic food (43/41),’” while Democrats (41/44) think it does not.

But there are still many food issues where Democrats and Republicans do see eye-to-eye, according to PPP, which surveyed 500 registered American voters from February 21st to February 24th (the margin of error for the sample is +/- 4.4 percent): 

--Overall, 40 percent of Americans have a positive opinion of fast food, vs. 49 percent who view it negatively. Democrats and Republicans both come in at 41/50 on their general opinion of fast food.

--52 percent of Americans say dinner is their favorite meal, while 29 percent go for breakfast and just 11 percent go for lunch. “Democrats and Republicans both strongly back dinner.”

--Coke beats out Pepsi 43/35 in the soft drink wars, with support from both Republicans (47/33) and Democrats (44/37).

--Americans across all demographics say that they’d rather have a coke than a beer (57/30).

On the fast-food burger front, says PPP, the news is mixed. Burger King wins best honors with 22 percent to 19 percent for Wendy’s and 15 percent for McDonald’s. McDonald’s takes the dubious least favorite prize, with 22 percent to 16 percent for Hardee’s and 15 percent for both Burger King and Jack in the Box. But the news isn’t all bad for McDonald’s:  In a hypothetical presidential race, “Ronald McDonald would beat out the Burger King 36/22.”

The organization also examined some “more serious food issues”: It found that 54 percent of voters would be willing to pay more for restaurant meals to help employees have health insurance, while 30 percent say they would not. “Democrats (72/19) are overwhelmingly willing to pay more for that purpose, but Republicans by a narrow margin (41/38) as well. This issue has received a lot of attention because of Papa Johns’ complaints about Obamacare, and that chain doesn’t fare too well in our favorite pizza voting: Pizza Hut wins with 30 percent to 17 percent for Papa John’s, 15 percent for Domino’s, and 5 percent for Little Caesar’s.”

Interestingly, on the subject of obesity, PPP found that only 21 percent of Americans consider themselves to be obese.

“Last year the CDC estimated that almost 36 percent of Americans are actually obese, and it seems possible that the lack of self awareness among people who are obese could help to explain why so many more people are than think they are,” says the report.

Other notes from the poll:
--49 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of vegetarians to 22 percent with a negative one. For vegans, it’s a 38/30 spread.
--Overall 13 percent of those surveyed consider themselves to be either vegetarians (6 percent) or vegans (7 percent).
--Americans narrowly prefer pancakes (33 percent) over French toast (30 percent) with waffles finishing at 22 percent.

The full results of the poll can be found on the PPP website .