by Joye Barksdale | February 27, 2012
In his bid for the “everyman” voter, presidential candidate Mitt Romney hurried down to the Daytona International Speedway last weekend to declare his love for NASCAR. Not that Romney knows many fans – but he does “have some great friends who are NASCAR team owners.”
Data suggest that the typical NASCAR fan earns between $35,000 and $50,000 a year. The average NASCAR team owner, on the other hand, plunks down millions for race cars, salaries for drivers and team members, and travel expenses.
Romney told the NASCAR fans he’s into racing because it combines cars and sports and is “quintessentially American.” While in Michigan last week, he often complimented the auto industry and the hard work of the men and women who build cars. Yet curiously, as President he’d sign right-to-work-for-less legislation – which would require unions to represent workers who don’t pay union dues – if it crossed his desk. That would weaken the rights of the very workers whom Romney purports to admire, by weakening the unions that fight for them.
And Romney also spent a lot of time in Michigan railing against the auto industry rescue that saved 1.4 million jobs and reinvigorated the industry.
With those policies, Romney may find himself stuck in reverse with the NASCAR fans he’s trying to win over.