DEALER SURVEY: Dealers Ignore Obama Mania

© 2008 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Fall 2008
Author: Tom Wadsworth
Pages 44-46

Dealers Ignore Obama Mania
Prefer McCain by a 5 to 1 Margin

Garage door dealers are clearly in John McCain’s camp.

In an online dealer survey by Door & Access Systems, 75 percent of respondents said they would vote for John McCain, while only 15 percent chose Democratic opponent Barack Obama. Another 10 percent were undecided.

In a similar poll taken four years ago, 75 percent of dealers said they preferred George Bush, while 21 percent supported John Kerry. But in 2008, only 15 percent wanted Obama. It appears that “Obama Mania” is not affecting door dealers.

The poll, conducted online from Aug. 12-20, was sent to 714 e-mail addresses of dealers in all 50 states. The survey ended before the Democratic and Republican conventions started to avoid any undue influence from media convention coverage.

Voter Apathy?

A total of 132 dealers responded, many fewer than the 229 who responded in 2004. The extraordinarily long campaign period may have contributed to an apparent loss of interest between the 2004 and 2008 elections.

One survey respondent complained that the campaign has dragged on for two years: “This process is much too long. I’m tired of hearing about the election!”

The Most Influential Issue: The Economy

The economy was the most influential issue, as 62 percent of all dealers said it had an “extreme influence” on their vote. Taxes were the second most influential issue, with 53 percent saying it was extremely influential to their vote. The war on terrorism came in third, followed by jobs and the war in Iraq.

The survey asked, “How much influence do the following issues have on your vote?” Twelve issues were then provided, and respondents indicated whether each issue had No Influence, Little Influence, Moderate Influence, Much Influence, or Extreme Influence.

The three issues with the least influence on the door dealer vote were gay/lesbian issues (31% said No Influence), abortion (21%), and gun control (8%). These three issues were also the bottom three in 2004.

McCain Voters vs. Obama Voters

For dealers who voted for John McCain, the top three most influential issues were the economy (61% were “extremely influenced” by this issue), taxes (60%), and the war on terrorism (44%). The top three issues for Obama voters were the economy (65%), jobs (60%), and health care (55%).

McCain voters and Obama voters were the most split over the influences of health care, the war on terrorism, and jobs. Obama voters were much more influenced by health care and jobs, while McCain voters were much more influenced by the war on terrorism.

Dealers Speak Out: “Nobama”

The survey offered dealers an opportunity to sound off about the candidates. The most common comment was critical of Obama. Here are some typical remarks:
• “Obama will not be very good for business. He will over-tax the rich, the very people who can and will create jobs for others.”
• “How could anyone vote for a candidate that has a problem saying the Pledge of Allegiance, saluting the flag, and wearing a flag lapel pin? Obama is a disgrace for that alone.”
• “Obama has no experience and no plan but is very smooth, like Bill Clinton. I cannot believe that he spent years listening to Rev. Wright’s sermons of hate and saw no reason to change churches.”
• “I will not vote for Obama (the antichrist).”

Dealers Speak Out: Lousy Choices

The second most common remark was disappointment in the quality of the two candidates:
• “The candidates do not worry me. The very fact they are our candidates worries me.”
• “Two lousy choices. McCain is less lousy.”
• “In this great country full of millions of people, it’s a shame that we have to choose between a Black Muslim and a man who is too old to handle the job.”
• “Can we get None of the Above on the ballot?”
• “Wish we had Reagan again.”

Dealer Prophecy?

This is the third presidential poll of door dealers conducted by Door & Access Systems. Even though door dealers have been strong supporters of the Republican candidate, they have also correctly predicted the eventual winner of the election.

In 2000, door dealers supported George Bush over Al Gore, 65 percent to 14 percent (a margin of 51 percent). Bush eventually won the electoral vote but lost the popular vote, 47.9 percent to 48.4 percent (a margin of -0.5 percent).

In 2004, Bush was preferred over Kerry, 75 percent to 21 percent (a margin of 54 percent). Bush finally won, 50.7 percent to 48.3 percent (a margin of 2.4 percent).

In 2008, dealers supported McCain over Obama by a margin of 60 percent. If the winner needs a margin of victory among dealers of 52 percent, then McCain’s victory seems assured in 2008. The outcome may depend on the 10 percent who are undecided.

Will dealers again be correct? We’ll know on Nov. 4.

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The Most Influential Issues
(In D&AS Presidential Polls)

1. The War on Terrorism
2. The Economy
3. Taxes
4. Jobs
5. War in Iraq

1. The Economy
2. Taxes
3. The War on Terrorism
4. Jobs
5. War in Iraq