- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 16, 2015

NASCAR people: They love the speed, the cars, the track, the crowd, the culture, the style. Veteran pollster John Zogby says he began to track the voting power of “blue-collar Americans” when the sizable demographic embraced conservatism, Second Amendment rights and traditional values — and voted for George W. Bush.

“That is when I first began to notice NASCAR fans - lower-middle income, white, manly, conservative and ready to display manly values,” Mr. Zogby notes.

There is a “dramatic transformation” among the group, he says, affecting their politics and ideology. “What is so stunning now is the diversity of the sport’s fans,” Mr. Zogby notes. Those fans are many - numbering 75 million, according to multiple press reports.

He bases his conclusion on numbers. Among those who described themselves as “NASCAR fans” in Mr. Zogby’s 2006 poll of 3,351 likely voters, 58 percent said they were conservative, 25 percent moderate and 12 percent liberal. Another 54 percent were Republicans and 20 percent Democrats, while 82 percent were white, 7 percent were black, 7 percent Hispanic, and 56 percent were gun owners.

Mr. Zogby has repeated the questions among 1,653 NASCAR fans this week, and here’s the evolving numbers: Thirty-seven percent now say they are conservative, 30 percent moderate and 33 percent liberal. Now, 36 percent identify themselves as Republicans and 39 percent Democrat; 63 percent are white, 11 percent black, 22 percent Hispanic; and 50 percent own guns.

The pollster began tracking NASCAR fans who identified themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender two years ago; it was 6 percent then, and 11 percent this time around.

“This change did not happen overnight. It has been a steady progression,” Mr. Zogby says, who nonetheless deems it a “dramatic transformation” and his nascar-america” target=”_blank”>findings.

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