As we’ve learned all too well recently, name recognition and celebrity are increasingly standing in for experience and expertise when it comes to electing our public servants. While one bright orange example comes to mind, the trend has shown no signs of slowing down since the last election cycle, with celebrities such as Matthew McConaughey, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and Caitlyn Jenner all mulling possible gubernatorial runs. With the bar set so unprecedentedly low, two new challengers have announced their intentions to enter the political ring and enter the Delaware gubernatorial race: the 2021 Chevy Equinox vs 2021 Toyota RAV4.
Being inanimate objects, the two compact crossovers don’t have much of a track record from which to parse their political platforms, but according to some experts, that could well be an advantage. “Saying anything out loud is the first step to the kind of ‘gotcha’ moments those journalists just love,” says Martin Robinson, a political strategist with the Orwell Group. “The fact that these cars have never said anything on the record makes them sort of untouchable by the opposition and media.”
When asked to handicap a potential frontrunner, Robinson said the Equinox narrowly edges out the RAV4 based largely on price, with the base model starting at $2,200 less than the Toyota. “Taxpayers really demand value, and the Equinox delivers on that promise; that’s not something we’re used to seeing from our politicians,” he said. While the Chevy does offer slightly lower fuel economy and cargo space when compared to the RAV4, its expansive suite of safety and infotainment features more than make up the difference.
“It’s got a 7-inch touchscreen and a Wi-Fi hotspot; it’s like I never even left the house,” said Cliff Mornay, an undecided voter from Newcastle. “Those sorts of features just make it so relatable. It’s the kind of crossover SUV you could really imagine grabbing a beer with after a long day of yard work.”
The Equinox has also never taken a public stance on state’s rights, taxation, or Israel, leaving pundits and attack ads with little to criticize. As Chevy’s best-selling SUV, it’s a proven winner with consumers and is actively courting the “nervous parent” demographic with its industry-leading Teen Driver technology. With features including buckle to drive, a speed limiter, seat belt audio mute, and a safe driving report card, the Equinox has made “children are the future” a central part of its campaign platform.
The RAV4 currently lags behind the Equinox in a poll of Delaware’s undecided voters and is seen by some as being slightly out of touch with the electorate. Available in six different configurations from FWD to AWD to a Hybrid and plug-in Hybrid model, there’s concern that the RAV4 had spread itself too thin in trying to be all things to all voters. “I just don’t know if I can trust a crossover that tells me it’s got 203 horsepower one minute, then I see on the Twitter that it’s also available as a plug-in with 302 horsepower that can do zero to 60 in 5.7 seconds. Call me old-fashioned, but something about that just ain’t right,” said Mornay.
The RAV4 is also somewhat long-winded under the hood, with some drivers citing an excess of engine noise as a major drawback. “We have enough hot air coming out of the state capitol as it is,” Mornay said.
No matter who voters choose this election cycle, one thing is for sure. They’ll at least be as well qualified for office as a reality TV or action movie star.