May 25, 2024 - Business

America's most nonpartisan companies

Scatter plot showing the 20 companies with the most nonpartisan Harris 100 reputation scores, from the Axios/Harris survey of 16,500 Americans from March 6-18. Procter and Gamble and Aldi were both rated on average the exactly the same on either side. Lululemon Athletica, Geico, Best Buy and Chipotle had an only 0.1 difference.
Data: Axios/Harris Poll; Chart: Tory Lysik/Axios Visuals

Even in a hyper-polarized environment, 40% of American businesses are perceived as being nonpartisan, the latest Axios/Harris Poll 100 survey finds.

Why it matters: Companies like Procter & Gamble, UPS and BP have been able to stay top of mind for consumers, without wading into hot-button issues or cultural controversies.

Between the lines: It is possible for companies to be well-liked without appealing to one specific voting block over the other.

  • Eight brandsAldi, General Electric (which recently split into three), General Motors, Novo Nordisk, Procter & Gamble, Sony and UPS — have maintained "good" reputation scores (between 70-74.9) while also keeping a partisan split of 0.9 or below.

Zoom in: Specific industries appear to be less polarizing than others.

  • For example, fast food appeals to all: Chipotle and Pizza Hut saw a partisan split of less than 0.6.
  • Energy companies like General Electric, Royal Dutch Shell and BP are viewed as overwhelmingly nonpartisan.

On the other side, Target, AB InBev and Pfizer are viewed as skewed to the left.

  • Companies like the Trump Organization, Fox and X are seen as right-wing.

Reality check: As a whole, corporate America is deemed as more left-leaning, according to the poll.

  • 41 companies on this year's list of 100 were viewed as left-leaning, while just 19 were seen as right-leaning.

The big picture: Companies are increasingly coming under fire for commenting on social or geopolitical issues that do not relate to their business operations.

  • In response, CEO appetite for commenting on these external matters has waned.

Case in point: Of the eight nonpartisan companies with "good" reputations, all commented, made pledges or donated to diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives following the murder of George Floyd in 2020.

  • However, only two made public statements after the overturn of Roe v. Wade and half spoke out prior to the Oct. 7 attack in Israel in 2023.

Go deeper: The 2024 Axios Harris Poll 100 reputation rankings

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