Barack Obama might be slipping in the national polls after a flat debate performance, but the Democrat remains the favored candidate for some of the nation's top marketing executives, according to an informal poll taken Thursday at the Association of National Advertisers annual meeting in Orlando, Fla. Asked to text their presidential choice, the audience weighed in this way: Mr. Obama (109); Mitt Romney (73); a third-party or write-in candidate (3); I wouldn't vote (1).
But the real winner might be apathy. Those 186 votes represent less than 10% of the more than 2,000 people at the event, which also includes ad-agency execs, media-sales people and other marketing vendors. Of course, it could be that that when the poll was taken -- during a morning break -- people were more interested in getting a cup or coffee, hitting the restroom or grabbing some valuable networking time in the hallway. For more completely unscientific reads on the election, check out our recent round-up of the brand polls being taken across the country, which also show Mr. Obama leading.
At the ANA, New York Times Washington correspondent David Sanger offered a quick preview of tonight's vice presidential debate as part of a wide-ranging presentation he gave on political and policy trends. He predicted that Joe Biden would show a bit more fight than what Mr. Obama exhibited. "The big question is if he can contain the gaffes," he said. As for Paul Ryan, "he knows his brief very, very well, but he has not had to go up in this kind of format." Mr. Sanger's advice for marketers: "Open up a beer, grab some popcorn and watch."
Of course, that is if they aren't watching Train, the music group slated for Thursday night's convention dinner.