ST. PAUL (CNN) - This year's Minnesota State Fair attendees hoping to eat a Snickers on a stick or watch a cow give birth can do both those things and also register to vote.
With some form of the Republican convention as a backdrop, and the presidential election just over 60 days away, the Minnesota State Fair resembled a political rally Saturday with fair-goers sporting "McCain," "Obama," and "NObama" buttons as they perused the fair's myriad of fried offerings. Both state parties hosted booths where voters could pick up literature, chat with campaign representatives or just mingle with like-minded Minnesotans.
A giant poster of now vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin dominated the Minnesota GOP's white clapboard house that sat across from a buzzing crepe stand. "McCain's pick Sarah Palin governor of Alaska" was the hand scrawled caption on a clip board.
"It was a very big surprise," said Georgia from southern Minnesota of McCain's choice for number two. "She does bring the fact she is a woman to the ticket and she's got some experience having been involved as governor of Alaska." Georgia picked McCain at the fair's GOP straw poll last year.
"She's a woman she can learn fast," said Kathy from Bursville in response to critics who say Palin lacks experience. "I thought she could kick it."
Despite the overwhelmingly positive reviews for Palin, there still was some lingering disappointment that Tim Pawlenty, this state's governor, wasn't tapped for the Republican ticket.
"I thought it would be him," said Mike Held who has known Pawlenty for 27 years. "But because she's a woman there was instant attention and she took the thunder from Obama ... This is going to seal the deal."
Perhaps the most clever and most popular political item came from the Obama stand. In a nod to all the authentic state fair food that could be found on a stick (Oreos, bacon, meat balls etc), the Obama campaign offered up "Change on a Stick." The item was so popular that the only non-caloric item on a stick at the fair was sold out.