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Data: Harris Poll; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Americans are leaning into companies that have strong political positions, in the wake of one of the country's most divisive election years.

Driving the news: New rankings from the Axios/Harris 100 poll — an annual survey to gauge the reputation of the most visible brands in the country — show that brands with clear partisan identifications are becoming more popular.

Patagonia is the top brand in America, according to the new survey.

  • The brand, which in 2017 sued the Trump Administration to protect national monuments, took a further turn left last year, sewing "VOTE THE ASSHOLES OUT" tags in its clothing ahead of the election.
  • REI, Patagonia's outdoor apparel rival and fellow Trump antagonist, appeared on the list for the first time this year.

Several prominently conservative brands performed well, too.

  • Chick-fil-A moved up in the rankings, from 11 last year to 4 this year. Hobby Lobby appeared on the list for the first time, as did Goya, which became a political lightning rod after the company's CEO praised then-President Trump. All three have positive reputations.
  • Americans listed MyPillow and the Trump Organization among the companies they're most aware of, but both have strongly negative reputations. The Trump Organization came in last place in this year's rankings.

The big picture: This year's reputation rankings reflect a return to normalcy in the business world. While many of the most polarizing companies are doing better than last year, they aren't necessarily the most visible companies.

  • The most visible companies are blue-chip brands that consumers relied on heavily throughout the pandemic, such as Amazon and Walmart, Apple, Facebook, Google, Target, Microsoft, Wells Fargo, Nike and McDonald’s.
  • "Coronavirus companies" that ranked high on the list last year, including Clorox, Peloton and Doordash, have all moved off of this year's list.

Methodology: The Axios Harris Poll 100 is based on a survey of 42,935 Americans in a nationally representative sample conducted April 8-21, 2021. The two-step process starts fresh each year by surveying the public’s top-of-mind awareness of companies that either excel or falter in society.

  • These 100 “most visible companies” are then ranked by a second group of Americans across the seven key dimensions of reputation to arrive at the ranking. If a company is not on the list, it did not reach a critical level of visibility to be measured.

Go deeper

Updated May 26, 2021 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation on Axios Harris Poll 2021 rankings

On Wednesday, May 26, Axios media reporter Sara Fischer and editor-in-chief Nicholas Johnston unpacked which brands have become America's favorites and how the past year has impacted their reputations, featuring The Harris Poll CEO John Gerzema, 3M senior vice president of communications Brian Henry, MDC Partners chairman and CEO Mark Penn and The Stagwell Group vice chair Ray Day.

  • John Gerzema on the notably low rankings of social media companies in the Axios Harris Poll: "The big winner this year was probably Apple on the basis of their privacy...But basically, we saw the decline of social media platforms...We had all kinds of controversy around the platforms obviously this year."
  • Brian Henry on how businesses and brands should continue to build resilience: "The lessons learned over the last year can't just be that we now know what PPE stands for. It is that we are smarter as a global community to stay ahead of, respond to and be ready for the next pandemic."
  • Mark Penn on who drives the reputation of companies: "Investors don't drive corporate reputation, more or less. What drives corporate reputation in this survey is much more of the consumers who see and use the products...They want to know that it's consistent in what it stands for."
  • Ray Day on how companies can improve their overall reputation: "The price of entry is to have strong products and services...I always think of reputation as an equation. It's the sum of your company performance, the way you behave, and then how you communicate or market that determines whether your reputation goes up or whether it declines."

Arizona governor signs bill to remove some voters from early voting list

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey at a Trump rally in 2018. Photo: Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) on Tuesday signed a controversial bill passed by the state's Republican-controlled legislature that will remove some people from the state's permanent early voting list.

The big picture: Democrats called the measure discriminatory and said it will disproportionately affect Latino voters and other communities of color. The new law will likely to remove an estimated 100,000 to 200,000 voters from the early voting list, per the New York Times.

Lobbyists fill void after corporations cut off GOP cash

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Lobbyists keep donating to members of Congress even after companies employing them cut off cash to protest the Capitol insurrection and 2020 election challenge, data show.

Why it matters: While the companies have gotten a PR boost for their good-governance statements, the policy advocates they employ have maintained relationships on their behalf and can still advance their goals on the Hill with the very members those companies disavowed.