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Poll: Americans Like Coke More Than Beer; Republicans Think Olive Garden is "Authentic Italian"

There are a lot of issues Democrats and Republicans differ on: abortion, Obamacare, Sarah Palin's IQ. But food? According to a new poll by Public Policy Polling, party lines extend all the way to edibles.

Released Wednesday, the national poll reveals American attitudes on everything from favorite meal of the day to the Olive Garden as "authentic" Italian. Plus, it shows some stark differences in the preferences of red voters versus blue.

See also:
- Republican Candidates Eats: Romney Removes Chicken Skin, Perry Calls BBQ Roadkill
- Here's What to Eat if Mitt Wins

The poll was done via automated telephone interview and questioned 500 registered voters. The group's main moneymaker is polling for political organizations and nonprofits, but it also occasionally asks offbeat cultural questions of the American populous.

"As well as being an accurate firm in predicting outcomes of political races, we're also known as a firm that's willing to ask quirky poll stuff," says assistant director Dustin Ingalls.

"Sometimes we find things that have unexpected political and cultural implications," Ingalls says. "They reveal something that's not just funny, but actually sort of reasons why people believe what they do politically based on their answers to some of these cultural questions."

Here are a few choice gems about our nation as a whole:

  • Forty-nine percent of people view vegetarians favorably, 22 percent unfavorably, and 28 percent aren't sure. For vegans, it's 38 percent favorably, 30 percent unfavorably, and 32 percent unsure. Eighty-seven percent said they themselves are neither vegetarian nor vegan.
  • Americans would choose Ronald McDonald (36 percent) for president over the Burger King (22 percent). Yes, this was an actual question.
  • Fifty-seven percent would rather drink a Coke than have a beer. WTF?
  • Only 21 percent consider themselves obese, but the CDC estimates the real number is around 36 percent. Denial is definitely at play here.

And by party line:

  • Dems prefer bagels (34 percent) and croissants (32 percent) while Republicans favor doughnuts (35 percent).
  • Republicans choose Chick-fil-A (shocker) over KFC (48 percent to 29 percent), while it's vice versa for Dems (39 percent to 18 percent).
  • Dems like regular soda (47 percent) while Republicans are on the diet bandwagon (42 percent).
  • A majority of Republicans believe Olive Garden constitutes "a quality source of authentic ethnic food" (43 percent), but Dems (41 percent) don't buy it by a narrow margin.
  • Both parties say dinner is their favorite meal, but it's a wider margin for Republicans (55 percent) versus Dems (49 percent).
  • South Florida's own Burger King came in as the favorite fast-food burger joint for both Republicans (20 percent) and Dems (23 percent). McDonald's was fourth, behind Hardees/Carl's Jr. and Jack in the Box.
  • Republicans (44 percent) and Dems (47 percent) both prefer Coke over Pepsi.

Click here to read the poll's entire findings, which are more than a little fascinating.

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