I spent yesterday at the North Carolina State Fair. Every year the Republicans and Democrat parties each have a booth at the fair and they pass out stickers for the various candidates for their party. For what it’s worth, what I learned from what I saw there yesterday is that fair goers are overwhelmingly Republican. That might mean less than in past years because, due to the economy, attendance is way down this year. Many of the Democrat numbers in NC come from bigger cities like Charlotte and Greensboro, and many of those who attend the state fair come from towns closer to Raleigh and from rural areas. I’ll report what I saw though.
The first couple of hours at the fair I noticed a few McCain-Palin stickers on people, then began to see more and more as the day progressed. By the time we made it to the building with the Republican and Democrat booths I was seeing a bunch of McCain-Palin stickers, but no Obama ones. I first wondered if the Democrats didn’t have booth this year, but saw a few Obama stickers once we entered the building. I had to stand in line at the GOP booth to get a McCain-Palin sticker to wear, and also picked up a bumper sticker while there. There were four workers at the GOP booth and they were working furiously behind the table to pass out stickers to all those waiting in line. When I passed the Democrat booth there were a few people there, but no line like at the GOP booth and there was a Dem worker in front of the booth “stickering” people as they walked by. For the remainder of the day I saw at least a 4 to 1 majority of people wearing McCain stickers. I was stopped by two people wanting to know where I got my McCain sticker.
As I said earlier, this is a very non-scientific “poll” of people who probably tend to be more Republican anyway, just as a poll of people at a military event would no doubt overwhelmingly favor McCain. What should be noted though is that in past years it has been right in line with the final NC vote for President. This year is not like previous years though. Due to the economy, and gas prices specifically, this year there are likely less attendees in lower income brackets. I live nearby and have a mom that always buys advance fair and ride tickets for us to take the grandkids, but for most people, especially those a long drive from Raleigh, the costs can be pretty significant if you want to ride the rides and eat anything.
I don’t know if people are less willing to sport an Obama sticker than they were a Kerry or Gore one, but there were significantly less people wearing them yesterday. The most recent NC polls are showing a tie in the presidential race, but in the primary Obama’s support was drastically underestimated by polls. So in NC those on both sides should assume nothing. I have another observation from the fair that I will post later, but right now I am headed to GOP headquarters to volunteer at the phone bank.
Note: I wrote this post earlier today, but forgot to take it out of “draft” status so it is just now posting. I am back from volunteering and several of the women making calls were talking about how many people were wearing McCain stickers. They went on different days and all said it was the same — many more McCain than Obama supporters (at least more willing to wear McCain on their shirts than Obama).