Wednesday, October 05, 2022

Why Trump Voters Eat at Wendy's

The Washington Post's Department of Data has discovered a curious correlation between the number of chain restaurants in a state and the number of Trump voters. Apparently the state's with the highest percentage of Trump voters also have the most franchise foods.

The Department of Data obviously knows that correlation isn't causation and that a tendency to vote for delusional wannabe dictators is not a direct result of poor nutritional choices. They therefore went looking for correlations between chain restaurants and other data. 

In the article Places in America with the most chain restaurants the Washington Post has published a number of interactive maps. For example at the top of this post you can see a screenshot of the most common restaurant cuisine in each state. One of the most interesting maps in the article is a map of the percentage of workers who commute by motor vehicle in each U.S. county.

According to the Washington Post alongside the strong correlation of the number of chain restaurants and Trump voters there is also a strong correlation between the number of chain restaurants in a state and the number of people who commute by motor vehicle. They therefore conclude that Trump won more counties with a high number of chain restaurants because he 'won more of the places with the most car commuters'.

The Post doesn't draw any conclusions from this, saying 'We still aren’t sure why Trump won areas with more car commuters'. Personally I strongly suspect that it may be tied to the urban-rural divide in Democrat and Republican support which manifests in nearly every election (i.e. rural Americans are more likely to have to commute by motor vehicle that urban Americans). 

However the Post does have a good explanation of why there are more chain restaurants in areas with the most motor vehicle commuters. They explain how highways and chain restaurants have been closely linked since the earliest days of the interstate highway. 

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