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Davis Journal

Cyclops: Pizzas and politics do in fact often mix

Apr 08, 2021 12:24PM ● By Anna Pro
 A University of Utah research team discovered that your hair, which contains amino acids from your food, can predict your overall diet, your health, and your weight.  The researchers went to barbershops and hair salons in 65 Utah cities and 29 ZIP codes, sweeping up fallen hair to figure out whether the customer prefers broiled salmon with veggies or a double bacon cheeseburger and onion rings.

But unlike Cyclops research, the university researchers could not predict how a person would vote in an election. For those results, one must consult the Cyclops Pizza Study. 

Yes, pizza!  It accounts for about 20% of all restaurant sales in the U.S. (or 100 acres of pizza per day).  There are two basic pizza eaters: the traditional pizza devotees and the more trendy pizza fans.  Look at the pizza toppings and I can predict how they will vote.

The man or woman who orders the traditional pepperoni or sausage pizza with classic tomato sauce and maybe a few olives or mushrooms is the most typical Utahn.  This person usually votes Republican, shops at Walmart, has a Maverik mug in their cupholder, and thinks that Bernie Sanders represents the Soviet Union.  They most likely voted for Donald Trump last November although some may be a bit embarrassed to admit it. 

But then there is a variation: the all-meat pizza eater.  This is usually a male, drives a truck, listens to Sean Hannity, supports erecting a Confederate statue near Temple Square, thinks global warming/climate change is as fictional as Harry Potter, and if they could, they would eat coal for breakfast. 

There is also a sub-group, those who order Hawaiian pizzas, not understanding that mixing a fruit and marinara sauce is like blending pesto with motor oil. A good share of Hawaiian pizza eaters don’t vote unless they can cast a ballot in between listening to a My Favorite Murder podcast and a skit from Comedy Central. But if they did vote, they would lean toward electing Spiderman, Wonder Woman, or Tina Fey.

The second basic category is the Yuppie pizza eater.  Instead of pepperoni, they steer toward exotic toppings like duck and asparagus and prosciutto.  Mozzarella cheese is not good enough for them. They order gourmet pizzas with gouda, feta, or brie. They drive BMWs and Audis (while yearning for a Tesla), shop at Amazon or funky second-hand shops and boast about the fresh oregano growing in their kitchen. 

Those people vote for Democrats and are not usually seen at church functions. Men and women who order pine nuts and sea scallops on their pizzas are more likely found at Sunday brunch, not in a church pew.  Most of the upscale pizza joints are found in Salt Lake City. Order a veggie pizza with cauliflower crust in Parowan and you might be asked to leave. 

There is also a segment of pizza eaters who look for the grab-and-go $5 pizzas at Little Caesar’s.  Their political leanings are difficult to quantify, but most drive a mini-van and are motivated not by ingredients and toppings but by how many slices will satisfy a family of nine or a Little League party of 16. 

And finally, there is a person like myself.  I enjoy pepperoni and black olive pizza, but I will also swerve from the traditional and savor a halibut, salmon, mushroom, and bell pepper pizza.  

Research says I am a swing voter.