NASCAR team owners may count Mitt Romney among their friends, but that doesn't mean fans of the sport will necessarily vote for him, according to an online poll from JZ Analytics.
Barack Obama led Mitt Romney by 7 points, 49 percent to 42 percent, among the 202 voters who said they were fans of NASCAR, according to the survey, conducted by pollster John Zogby and spotted by the left-leaning PoliticusUSA blog. The president had an almost 9-point lead among the full sample of voters.
Both candidates have made overtures -- sometimes awkwardly -- to racing fans.
The Democrats planned to kick off their national convention at North Carolina's Charlotte Motor Speedway, but scrapped the idea at the last minute, citing logistical concerns.
Romney took time off from campaigning in Michigan during the Republican primaries to attend the Daytona 500, where he admitted he didn't follow the sport closely, but said he had "some friends who are NASCAR team owners." A second attempt to connect with fans during the Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in September was dampened by a rain delay.
NASCAR audiences, for their part, seem to have a bipartisan distaste for being used to score political points. They booed Romney this spring and Michelle Obama and Jill Biden last year.
Romney fared better with other traditionally conservative groups, maintaining a 7-point lead over Obama among born-again Christians and slim edge among weekly Wal-Mart shoppers, according to the poll.
JZ Analytics surveyed 860 likely voters online between Sept. 21 and Sept. 22, with a 3.4 percent margin of error.