The Orlando Political Hob Nob circuit might be dead for now

Yesterday, I went to what has traditionally been the biggest Central Florida Hob Nob for over a decade now. This was an event so big, they once held it at the UCF football stadium, with attendees from all over the region filling up the parking lot to talk to the candidates.

This year it barely occupied the food court at a mall.

For those who don’t know, a “Hob Nob” is an event where the members of an organization or club can go and meet all of the candidates for office. There is a usually a straw poll, food, and a good time is usually had by all. It was once so big that political reporters and bloggers treated it almost like a sports league.

But it looks like those times are gone. For now, anyways.

You could blame COVID for that. The 2018 Hob Nob circuit was fine. But when we went virtual for 2020, it stopped any tradition that was there.

Now, campaigns generally can take or leave a hob nob invitation. Beforehand, there was always criticism over paying $250 to $500 on a table just to lose a straw poll to an opponent who purchased 50 tickets for his campaign.

That put organizations in a tricky space because these are after all, fundraisers.

The results of a hob nob straw poll have always been debatable anyways. I’ve seen campaigns go undefeated in hob nobs and then get destroyed on election day. Campaigns may decide taking that money and feeding volunteers after hitting a couple of hundred doors might be better.

Its kind of sad really. While the number of hob nobs got ridiculous before the pandemic, they were usually a good time. Hopefully, the future will return us to a healthy balance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *