And the ubiquitous Facebook, so much a part of American lives, fared no better than Ford. While the public views the company as an immensely successful communications vehicle, its reputation doesn't seem to carry over into being a successful investment vehicle, despite being up 45 percent in the past 12 months.
And so the winner, in a mostly boring and predictable way was ... Apple.
It didn't really just win, it clobbered the competition as the choice of 20 percent of the public. It won virtually every one of the many demographic groups in the survey: It was the top choice of men and women, Republicans and Democrats and blue-collar and white-collar workers. It was the top choice of young people and those aged 50-64.
Google came in second with 15 percent of the vote, but it was only Wal-Mart that gave Apple a run for the money among some groups for the top spot. The retail behemoth was fourth overall with 11 percent but it nudged out Apple for the top spot among a few interesting groups. Amazon came in third with 12 percent.
The stock dominated among older Americans and those with lower-incomes. One-fourth of respondents making less than $30,000 chose Wal-Mart as their top stock stocking stuffer compared to just 16 percent for Apple. Americans living in the South were also more likely to pick the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer, while Apple dominated everywhere else in the nation.