by Brian Tinsman

WASHINGTON — It’s only 66 days until the 2016 Presidential Election, but fans of the high-A Potomac Nationals will get an early vote in the “Bobblelection” this weekend.

It’s not exactly scientific polling, but the first 2,000 fans through the gates will have their choice of a Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton bobblehead. If that isn’t creepy enough, the bobbleheads will have “real hair.”

Minor league sports teams have their fingers on the pulse of pop culture and leverage it for promotions that get people in the door. This year, the Bobblelection has been a national phenomenon, with four teams running pick-your-bobblehead promotions in the past week.

If the results of those promotions are any indication, Trump will do well among baseball fans this fall, as all four went in his favor. He won by a landslide (more than 60 percent) at a home game for the independent St. Paul Saints.

But as Trump continues to trail in national polls (by between 2 percent and 7 percent), how can he come out so favorably, even in states he is unlikely to win? It could be demographics, as minor league baseball tends to attract a more family-oriented or senior audience, demographics where Trump draws strength.

More likely, however, there is a strong novelty effect in play. Regardless of whether or not a fan supports Trump–or even if he wins–his hats, T-shirts, protest signs and now bobbleheads will be worthwhile additions to the memorabilia collection.

In other presidential-minor league baseball news, the Frederick Keys, high-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, had their own relevant promotion on Friday night. Actor Josh Lyman, famous for playing Bradley Whitford on West Wing, was in attendance and threw out the first pitch:

The Keys also support the third-party candidate, having launched a presidential run by team mascot Keyote. Evidently, he’s going to make America shake again:


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