June 1, 2023

Comment on this story Comment Gift Article Over the past few months, Elon Musk has been increasingly open about his political views. Having taken over Twitter, he appears to have embarked on a one-man effort to boost engagement on the site by stirring up controversy, often by elevating right-wing rhetoric and actors. WpGet the full […]

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During the last few months, Elon Musk has been an increasing number of open about his affairs of state. Having taken over Twitter, he seems to have launched into a one-man effort to spice up engagement at the website by means of stirring up controversy, ceaselessly by means of raising right-wing rhetoric and actors.

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That is his prerogative, and it for sure stands by contrast to his personal articulation of a lot of the remainder of the management within the company international: overly obsequious to left-wing actors and riddled with performative “wokeness.” However, as many have identified, Musk isn’t most effective the landlord of Twitter — he’s additionally CEO of Tesla Motors, an organization well-known for its electrical cars. And it’s participants of the political left who document extra pastime in purchasing electric cars, in line with Pew Analysis Middle polling. They’re two times as prone to, if truth be told.

So is Musk tweeting off his nostril to spite his face? Smartly, if New York is a information, possibly no longer.

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I started to believe this query after coming throughout a tweet from a consumer calling himself “TBPInvictus.” (He requested that I no longer use his actual title in order no longer to attract consideration to his employer.) It famous that, in New York state, the counties with probably the most Teslas consistent with capita had been closely Democratic. The ones with the fewest had been closely Republican.

TBPInvictus was once ready to bring together this information the use of knowledge equipped by means of the state. I used to be ready to copy the numbers, pulling the similar knowledge and evaluating it to 2020 presidential vote margins in each and every of the state’s 62 counties. As an alternative of merely ordering them, despite the fact that, I created a scatter plot, appearing how automobile possession charges and 2020 margins evaluate.

This was once the end result.

You’ll realize a couple of issues. First, that Trump-voting counties are usually not likely to have top charges of Tesla possession. However 2nd, that more-Democratic counties aren’t more-Tesla-owning ones. The height is closer the center of the graph, the place margins had been narrower.


You’ll additionally realize that I integrated a coarse scale of earning in the ones puts. In Westchester County, the median annual family source of revenue in 2019 was once about $97,000. Within the Bronx, it was once about $40,000. And that most definitely explains lots of the distinction.

To begin with, there’s a tough correlation between source of revenue and politics by means of county in New York. Extra Democratic counties are, usually, ones with upper family earning.

But when we take our county-level knowledge and bucket it into six teams of about 10 counties each and every, we will be able to see how a lot more vital source of revenue is than politics. Probably the most-Democratic counties are much more likely to possess Teslas. However the wealthiest ones are a ways much more likely to take action.

We will be able to display this in in a different way. Contrasting the ones sextile teams (six classes of 2020 vote; six classes of source of revenue) in opposition to each and every different, we see that wealthier closely Democratic counties have upper possession charges whilst the poorest don’t. Even within the fourth-best set of counties for Democrats in 2020, it’s the wealthiest that experience the best possession charges.

This doesn’t imply it’s wealthy Republicans purchasing the automobiles, after all. In each my and TBPInvictus’s analyses, we’re matter to the ecological fallacy: drawing conclusions concerning the citizens of a county from vast traits of the county. It can be wealthy Republicans purchasing Teslas in closely Democratic counties; it can be poorer Democrats purchasing them in additional reasonable ones. It’s arduous to mention.


However the central query we’re taking into account is whether or not Musk’s Twitter performances will push away a marketplace that received’t be crammed by means of Republicans. So it’s price stating that Republicans have a tendency to be wealthier than Democrats, so if source of revenue quite than politics is the spur for purchasing a Tesla, Musk will do ok.

Knowledge on voter registrations from L2 displays how source of revenue and birthday party overlap. Right here, we’re the use of modeled knowledge on family earning compiled by means of L2 and, in some states, modeled partisanship. (Which is to mention that L2 analyzes different knowledge units to estimate family earning or birthday party.) That displays us that about part of Democrats are living in families with earning under $75,000. About 60 % of Republicans are living in families above that point.

Put in a different way, there are possibly 26.3 million Republicans who are living in families with earning at or above $100,000 every year — upper than the median in Westchester. Tesla sells extra electrical cars than its competition, however most effective about 350,000 in 2022. If Musk can turn out to be the go-to automobile vendor to wealthy Republicans, there’s a large marketplace to faucet.

None of that is to mention that Musk will not be hurting his place with the target market possibly to purchase Tesla’s automobiles: rich Democrats. However given how source of revenue turns out to correlate to Tesla possession, operating to enchantment to participants of the wealthier political birthday party will not be a internet loss in the end.

Lenny Bronner contributed to this document.


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