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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

Axios-Ipsos poll: The blame game

Expand chart
Data: Axios/Ipsos Poll; Chart: Connor Rothschild/Axios

Americans place the most blame for rising COVID-19 cases and the spread of new variants on the unvaccinated, people from other nations traveling to the U.S. and Donald Trump, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: The findings expose a surreal gap between the views of the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, showing how tough getting to herd immunity could be — and providing new evidence that mandates could make a difference.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats propose raising debt ceiling through midterms

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House and Senate leadership announced on Monday that they plan to attach a proposal to raise the debt ceiling through Dec. 2022 to a short-term, government funding bill. The bill must pass before the end of the month or Congress risks a shutdown.

Why it matters: Democrats are taking a huge risk by trying to force through an increase of the debt limit in its must-pass funding bill. The move is wishful thinking on behalf of Democrats who are hoping they can get at least 10 centrist Republicans to balk, as well as an effort to put Republicans on record opposing it.

Biden to stress U.S. does not seek new Cold War in UN speech

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

President Biden will use his first address before the UN General Assembly to lay out his vision for an era of "intensive diplomacy" with allies and "vigorous competition" with great powers — without a Cold War with China.

Why it matters: Biden will take the podium in New York on Tuesday with his own international credibility in question after the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan. His administration also is struggling to build international momentum to fight climate change, the pandemic and rising global authoritarianism.