Tesla is becoming a partisan brand, says survey

Tesla is becoming a partisan brand – losing the support of Democrats and gaining support from Republicans, according to a survey.

Leaders of large companies selling consumer products, like automakers and tech companies, generally refrain from showing direct support to any political party, especially in the US.

Due to the polarizing nature of politics in the US and its two-party system, it’s better to stay away from definitive statements of support one way or the other since you risk alienating large parts of the population.

That’s why it was so surprising to see Elon Musk tell his over 100 million followers on Twitter to vote Republican during the midterm elections last month and going as far as calling the Democratic Party the “party of hate.”

Regardless of your political affiliation, from a business standpoint as the leader of a company selling consumer products, it was a questionable move, and the impact is starting to be felt.

A survey from Morning Consult reported by the Wall Street Journal has been tracking changes in opinion about Tesla from people with different political affiliations. It shows that the number of Democrats with a positive view of Tesla has been tracking significantly down, while it’s up for self-described Republicans:

Tesla’s net favorability among self-described Democrats in the U.S. fell to an average of 10.4% this month through Nov. 27, down from an average of 24.8% in October, according to Morning Consult. It rose to 26.5% from 20% among self-described Republicans during the same period.

Jordan Marlatt, tech analyst at Morning Consult, went as far as saying that Tesla is becoming a partisan brand:

It seems like Tesla is on its way to becoming a partisan brand.

Another survey from YouGov shows that Tesla’s popularity has been going down over the last year and recently dipped below 50%:

The YouGov survey also tracks opinions from different political affiliations and found that self-described liberals now view Tesla more negatively than conservatives, although conservatives also have a negative view of Tesla on average.

Electrek’s Take

Quite the reversal since I can still clearly remember the days when many Republicans would say that Tesla and Musk are just greedy for government subsidies.

Top comment by turkeyneck

Liked by 159 people

Fred, my city in west coast L.A. is virtually a showcase for Tesla adoption. You see hundreds in daily traffic. It’s now home to a massive new supercharger and service center/body shop. Folks in California made Tesla a success yet Elon bailed to a state where dealers prohibit their sale. Fair enough. But his current political posturing is hostile, inimical to a HUGE number of potential customers. What savvy businessman would alienate even one?

He’s dabbling in quicksand with the Twitter deal and may find that this impulsive and expensive move will prove to damage all his interests irretrievably.

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If anything, this goes to show how people have issues separating Tesla and Elon Musk, as Tesla itself hasn’t become more political lately. Musk clearly has, though.

Some people actually think that this is on purpose, that Tesla exhausted its pool of left-leaning potential customers and Musk is going after Republicans, but I don’t subscribe to that theory.

Musk has actually stated several times that Democrats being mean to him has pushed him to the right:

Obviously there could be other factors at play, but this does sound like it’s one of them. Is it worth it if it is going to affect Tesla in that way? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, but please don’t get political, and stay respectful. We are talking about the impact of Musk getting political on Tesla here. Not which side is best.

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