President Obama, during his first run for President on 2008, had been caught on camera making an off-color comment about how rural voters need to believe in something so they cling to guns, religion and racist beliefs. Well, if a poll from JZ Analytics can be believed, there is a new something that rural NASCAR fans are clinging to…President Obama!
The NASCAR vote is significant as it bills itself out as the most popular sport in America. Hundreds of thousands of people show up to watch the stock car races every weekend, and while there is no shortage of fans among urban residents, NASCAR dominates in rural America.
President Obama had said of rural voters in 2008:
“So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, and they cling to guns or religion, or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them, or anti-immigrant sentiment, or, you know, anti-trade sentiment [as] a way to explain their frustrations.”
Yet the poll, which was conducted by acclaimed pollster John Zogby, give Obama a 7 point lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney among voters who identified themselves as NASCAR fans. The poll was sponsored by the left-leaning PoliticusUSA Blog. The same pol found President Obama holding a 9 point lead overall. Romney held the lead in two distinct demographics, Evangelical Christians and those who shop at Wal-Mart.
Both candidates have tried to connect to NASCAR fans, with both not really doing such a good job at it. President Obama made arrangements to go to a race and meet some of the fans but cancelled at the last minute. Instead he sent his wife, Michelle, in his place who looked about as excited as a patient in a coma to be there.
Romney decided to head down to the Daytona 500 during the Republican primaries. The trip would up enforcing Romney’s image of being an out-of-touch snob when he told a newscaster at the race that he didn’t really follow the sport much but he had some really good friends who own NSACAR teams.
NASCAR audiences seem to have a negative attitude towards politicians who try to score political points off of the sport. Earlier this year, Romney was booed at an event. Michelle Obama and Jill Biden got a similar welcome late last year.