The eyes of the nation were focused on Davenport, Iowa, on Saturday night, as Iowa's first unofficial election ahead of the 2008 Presidential Election was held at Modern Woodmen Park prior to the Quad Cities River Bandits' 6:00 p.m. game against the Burlington Bees.
The result of the "Bobble-Election" was an emphatic show of support for the Democratic Party, as Barack Obama defeated John McCain in a landslide, taking 1,000 votes to McCain's 575.
"The people have spoken, and there is no question that the campaigns are watching," said team owner Dave Heller. "As the first major straw poll being held, this unofficial election at Modern Woodmen Park will set the tone for the race that is to come. The Quad Cities have sent a clear message to the rest of the country and John McCain will have to try to overcome that."
When the gates opened at 4:30 p.m., the River Bandits had 1,000 bobblehead dolls in the likeness of each candidate. Fans passing through the turnstiles had a simple choice: enter through the left gate to receive an Obama bobblehead, or the right gate to get a McCain bobblehead. When the 1,000th Obama bobblehead was handed out at approximately 5:15 p.m., the polls closed and Democratic candidate Barack Obama earned the River Bandits official endorsement for the 2008 Presidential Election.
"We were very impressed by the large number of fans that arrived early to Modern Woodmen Park tonight," said team Vice President/General Manager Kirk Goodman. "It shows how much the people of the Quad Cities care about the upcoming Presidential election. Providing premium giveaways like these bobbleheads are something that we take pride in offering our fans, and there is still one bobblehead giveaway left featuring former Quad Cities outfielder Rick Ankiel on August 30."
Obama did not have a verbal comment when asked about his resounding victory, but the Senator did not hide his ear-to-ear grin while repeatedly nodding in the affirmative and giving his supporters and enthusiastic "thumbs-up".
UP NEXT: The River Bandits return to Modern Woodmen Park to host the first-place Burlington Bees on Saturday in a battle between two playoff contenders. The series kicks of with a Bobble-Election sponsored by Pepsi and WQAD Newschannel 8 on Saturday in which fans will have the opportunity to choose between Barack Obama or John McCain bobblehead upon entry, while fireworks and a live concert by Spatterdash will follow the ballgame. Sunday's game feature a pre-game giveaway of the 2008 River Bandits Team Poster in addition to player autographs on a U.S. Bank Family Sunday. Monday night will be a Battle of the Mascots as well as a Margarita Monday, while the series concludes with a ballcap giveaway on another Modern Woodmen Half-Price Night Tuesday. Bandit Wear featuring the new team name and logo is currently available by visiting the Modern Woodmen Park team store, and prorated versions of season ticket packages, mini-packages, and the popular You-Pick-10 Plan are on sale at the park or by calling (563) 3-BANDITS!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.