“MAGA” hat? Easy: Trump supporter. A Biden-Harris tote is also an obvious giveaway.
But Coffee mate? Loose eggs?
We wondered if it was possible to identify Trump and Biden voters based on what’s inside their refrigerators. So we teamed up with Lucid, an online survey platform, to ask a representative sample of U.S. residents whom they’re planning to vote for — and whether they’d open their refrigerators and take a picture of the contents. Hundreds did.
Peer inside and see if you can tell.
Try the quiz
How did you do?
You guessed times and got correct, for a score of percent.
So far, Times readers have made guesses, correctly matching refrigerators to a family’s favored candidate percent of the time. (We excluded images from nonvoters, undecided voters and households with voters split on their choice for president.)
The current scores suggest that as a whole, we can’t distinguish people’s politics from glances into their fridges much more reliably than if we just flipped a coin.
Still, some refrigerators seemed especially guessable. Here are the top correctly guessed fridges — along with those where people most often made a mistake.
The best ‘clues’
Are particular items on those cold shelves reliable indicators about a family’s politics?
We reached out to the comedian Justin McElroy, whose bits on the podcast “My Brother, My Brother and Me” include “Munch Squad,” a segment about “brand eating.” He agreed to review some of the images, venture a guess and share his thought process.
“This is tough, but if I had to guess, the prepackaged muffins feel Trump to me,” he wrote via email. “Also, why are they in the fridge? Also, is that a huge bottle of oil? This is a confusing refrigerator.” It was this Biden fridge:
“This person keeps their peanut butter in the fridge and, as such, should be denied their right to vote,” Mr. McElroy said about another image. “Barring that, they will go Biden, because Noosa is pricey, and nothing says Democrat like pricey yogurt.”
He guessed that one correctly, at least about the preferred candidate, though many players incorrectly attributed a carton of almond milk to a Biden household and bottles of Powerade as belonging to Trump supporters.
We’re tracking the taps and clicks made when players are asked to pick objects they think are the best clues. Here are the objects near the most clicks.
Researchers say certain brands are, indeed, correlated with how people intend to vote. According to a survey this month by MRI-Simmons, for example, people voting for Mr. Biden are more likely than the average adult to have had Grey Poupon mustard or Minute Maid orange juice (not frozen) in the house, while Trump supporters over-index on Ken’s salad dressing and Pace picante sauce.
While the challenge of guessing a family’s politics based on a refrigerator may be a playful way to consider our similarities and differences — and our assumptions — the images are also personal glimpses into American lives, and anyone playing the game may have noticed some bare refrigerators.
Empty or nearly empty fridges were split roughly evenly between Trump and Biden supporters, and it’s hard to know whether an empty refrigerator is, say, a spare someone felt safe photographing or a sign of a household without enough food.
Knowing we’d be delving into these personal spaces, we asked about that. A little more than 12 percent of respondents told us their families did not have access to all of the food they needed in the previous two weeks, a proportion similar to what a U.S. Census Bureau survey found in September.