You’ll see more on my usual pictorial post tomorrow, but this evening I want to give my thoughts on where the political scene is among Delmarva beer drinkers.
Given that we were in the same situation as we were four years ago, in the early stages of a presidential campaign with multiple candidates, it was a no-brainer to do a poll of those attending. We chose to do a corn poll, where participants took a kernel and tossed it in the Mason jar of their candidate’s choice. And while the winner turned out to be Ben Carson, who eked out a narrow four-point victory, the general topic of conversation was one Donald J. Trump.
There were many who liked him, but for two different reasons. Most fell into the “he’s an outsider and we need to shake things up” camp, but there were a few who simply liked the ongoing circus. Many in that group considered Trump an “a–hole.” (It seemed women were more apt to use that term, too.) On the other hand, those who preferred Carson were more quiet about it.
It’s somewhat instructive, though, to recall that Herman Cain looked like a shoo-in for the 2012 GOP nomination at this stage in the race while eight years ago the polling was tight between Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani. The point is a lot can change, and if we go to the “next in line” as 2012 seemed to work, your nominee would be Rick Santorum, who is outside the top 10 in polling.
Yet I have to admit that those who believe Trump’s campaign will falter have been writing the same stories since the summer, if only to say they predicted it would happen. Driving out of the event on Saturday, though, I was behind a truck with a brand new Trump sticker on it, to go with a number of other stickers for candidates of both parties.
“The Donald” was definitely the leading cause of conversation in our little corner of the Good Beer Festival. At this point, the next question is whether he can win the old-fashioned way with retail politics. Sure, having large rallies is nice but how many are doing the field work. Our side thought Mitt Romney would win big based on his crowd turnout, but that’s not the way it went.
If you don’t like Donald Trump, you may be better off not dropping by our space next week unless you want your blood pressure to spike, I think he’ll be the hot topic once again.
One other quick observation. Rand Paul did tremendously better on Saturday than he did on Sunday. The reason? College students tend to come to the event on Saturday, while the crowd is significantly older on Sunday. It made a big difference on Paul’s support.
We’ll see how wine drinkers compare next week.