As fall arrives, so does two all-American traditions — football and politics.
And with the 2016 presidential race in full swing, candidates are beginning to stake ground in both fields.
On Saturday, Republican candidate Jeb Bush takes his White House ambitions to Athens, Georgia for the game between the Carolina Gamecocks and the Georgia Bulldogs. Bush will attend a tailgate party hosted by college Republicans from the University of Georgia.
The Gamecocks, underdogs at 1-1, have the added benefit of coming from South Carolina, a key early primary state. The Bulldogs are undefeated at 2-0.
On his campaign website, Bush rolled out a schedule of four football-related appearances, as well as the formation of a ten-member Southeastern Conference Advisory Committee. The committee is part of an effort “bring some fun” to the process and drum up grassroots support ahead of the March 15 “SEC primary.”
ABC News reports that Right to Rise, the super PAC behind Bush, has been looking into advertising rates for many of the SEC primary states, including Ohio, Missouri and Florida. As governor, Bush also led Florida, another SEC state.
“Come meet Jeb on the field,” Bush’s website says, “learn how you can get involved and maybe even take a few selfies.”
On Oct. 10, Bush will be at the Tennessee vs. UGA game in Knoxville; he will then go Tuscaloosa, Alabama for the LSU and Alabama Crimson Tide rivalry Nov. 7. Later in the month, Bush will be at the Ole Miss Rebels vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs on November 28 in Starkville, Mississippi.
Of course, Bush is not the only one linking football and politics.
Four Republican candidates — Donald Trump, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul — attended a Sept. 12 GOP tailgate event for the Iowa vs. Iowa State match-up, an attempt boost their ground game by appealing to the everyday American football fan/voter.