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Survey finds hunters, anglers favor John McCain

August 21, 2008 |  2:27 pm

A survey has found that John McCain holds a considerable lead over Barack Obama in the race to become president — among hunters and fishermen.

Given that there are an estimated 40 million hunters and fishermen of voting age in the United States, there’s some significance to their thinking and it may have helped the current president win two terms.

We all know what happened during the second term: the vice president, on one of his hunting trips, accidentally filled a fellow hunter full of birdshot.

But that’s beside the point. The point is, many Americans consider hunting and fishing — and certainly their right to own guns — part of their heritage and prefer a leader who cherishes those same values and would be inclined to protect those values in an era in which they’re being increasingly threatened.

The survey, conducted by Braun Research, polled 1,009 sportsmen of which 45% said they’d vote for McCain, while 31% tilted toward Obama.

Asked whom they’d rather hunt with, 49% said McCain, 27% answered Obama. As a fishing partner, 44% favored McCain over Obama (31%).

“They’re just not sure how much fun Barack Obama would be in a duck blind,” said Steve Sanetti, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which helped underwrite the survey.

None of this is surprising, since many serious sportsmen are Republicans, and considering that the survey was conducted on behalf of sportsmens’ rights groups that already knew what it would conclude.  Here at Outposts, we support hunting and fishing but will not get political, unless you count the irresistible reference to Dick Cheney’s 2006 nonfatal shotgun blasting of Harry Whittington during a Texas quail hunt.

That was an accident, of course. Accidents happen to everyone.

—Pete Thomas

Presidential fishermen

Photo: Current and former presidents Bush Jr. and Sr., avid sportsmen, return to Walker's Point off Maine after a 2007 fishing expedition. Voters who hunt and fish tend to favor leaders or prospective leaders who share similar values.
Credit: Associated Press