All week I have been in the Minneapolis suburb of Golden Valley, for my family’s annual Fourth of July holiday party. As is the case every year, the highlight of the holiday was a very large backyard fireworks display over Rice Lake to the sound of “Stars and Stripes Forever,” a well-choreographed show that was financed by some tax rebate checks.
Naturally, politics was on the minds of most of those here, and it is perhaps safe to say that not too many are teeming with excitement over the pending Republican National Convention in St. Paul.
That’s because I conducted a “Presidential Preference Poll,” and Obama won handily among all friends and family gathered.
Some background: I come from a big family — ten kids. My parents are centrist/liberal, and my father long has had a contrarian penchant for voting for Eugene McCarthy and when McCarthy got too old to to be viable, for Ralph Nader. My mother this year is a big Obama supporter, so I had to keep the presidential preference poll a secret ballot. Otherwise, any McCain supporter among her kids would face heavy lobbying at the very least and ostracism in the extreme.
The results? I did do a breakdown, and in the immediate family (brothers and sisters and parents), Obama collected nine votes, McCain garnered one and there was one holdout for Hillary Clinton. The latter came from my father, who came clean late in the evening; my mother is still trying to track down the lone McCain vote.
Overall, Obama was the favorite of 37 at the party; McCain collected 11 votes; and Clinton one. Three attendees were undecided, and one in-law cast a ballot for my mother.
Obama led across all generations and demo groups. McCain’s strength was among friends of the family, who, sensing they were outnumbered, largely kept their mouths shut about politics for most of the evening.
For the record, in the interest of neutrality, I did not vote.