This morning the AP gives us an interesting little review of a book proposing that voting can be linked to consumer lifestyles.

A new book, "Applebee's America," contends that your lifestyle -- what's in your refrigerator or your garage -- says as much about your politics as your position on gay marriage or whether you live in a red or blue state.

And if politicians want to succeed, the book says, they would do well to follow the example of successful businesses like Applebee's or Starbucks, which have connected with consumers not just because of the product they are selling, but because of the values and lifestyle they represent.

Hmmm.  Does that mean you can tell a homophobe by the crap that he buys? 

People's product choices are becoming more and more like value choices. It's not, 'I like this water, the way it tastes.' It's 'I feel like this car, or this show, is more reflective of who I am.' More and more people make those choices based on a value."

For example, he says, buying a hybrid car is not just a way to save money on gas, it's also a statement from consumers about "what they want said about the environment."

I can relate to the premis though because I readily acknowledge that I am easily seduced by this kind of stuff.  I love the feeling that I am a hip, trendy, socially-conscious consumer almost as much as I want to be said consumer.  Target makes me feel good because it feels upscale, comfortable and affordable.  Plus, its not Wal-Mart and that's definitely a good thing.  So I can feel lofty about avoiding the evil WM while at the same time indulging my inner middle class whore.  That's a freakin deal man!

But can this really translate into votes.  Does my Target decorated kitchen, fondness for lattes and preference for thrift store purchases predict my vote?  Or make me receptive to the big D message?  Perhaps but according to the authors, it gets a little murky in the middle.

According to "Applebee's America," a Bush consultant determined that "country music stations, long thought to have solidly Republican audiences, drew nearly as many Democratic as GOP voters," and while "The Simpsons" show was popular with Republican men, "Gilmore Girls" was popular among GOP women.

Just goes to show you can't judge a homophobe by his television preferences. 

Gilmore Girls?  A show celebrating the triumph of a single mom who ran away from her richy rich parents after getting preggers at age 16 and then goes on to <gasp> have sex out of wedlock with multiple men?  Or a show about a non-traditional family (much like my little gay family) who love each other even when things get sticky, complicated and frustrating?  Hmmmm .... could Star Hollow be purple America?