The 45-year-old engineer is well-tailored and gun-loving – and he sells anti-immigrant policies with a smile.
Mr Hofer has also struck a chord with an increasingly polarised electorate.
The senior member of the nationalist ‘Freedom Party’ told a packed audience at his final campaign event for the presidency that the time had come to put ordinary people first.
“Austrian men and Austrian women have a strong will to succeed – to make this country a success,” he said. “The old dust has to be shaken off and we will be proud again to be Austrian.”
If you think that sounds a bit like “make American great again”, you’d be right.
Norbert Hofer is riding the anti-establishment wave, decrying “the system” and the career politicians who run it.
He is also exploiting fears of mass immigration.
It would be better, he says, if immigrants and asylum-seekers stayed at home.
“These people aren’t working (in Austria) so I say give these asylum seekers the skills so they can rebuild in their own countries. Now that would be a meaningful task.”
Immigration and Austria’s membership in the European Union have dominated the national debate of late and it is clear that a Hofer presidency would make officials in Brussels very nervous.
He has called for a Brexit-style referendum if the EU permits Turkey to join.
“Should Europe fear Norbert Hofer?” I asked him, as he made his way out of his packed campaign event.
“No,” he responded, as he moved through a crush of supporters and journalists. “I am just a normal guy – I am not far-right.”
This is the second time Mr Hofer and his rival from the Green Party, Alexander Van der Bellen, have battled to become Austrian head of state.
An earlier poll in May – which was won by a fraction by Mr Van der Bellen, was cancelled after voting irregularities.
Van de Bellen is a 72-year-old university economics professor and is pro-EU and pro-free trade.
What’s more, he is the political establishment – and the celebrities’ choice for president – but that particular combination of assets may not get him across the finish line in these new, Trumpian times.
In his closing rally in Vienna on Friday he warned that Mr Hofer was trying to “demolish the house of Austria”, instead of trying to repair it with “reason”.
“We know that things need to change – but let’s not destroy things,” he said.
“We have to build a house in Austria – the house of Austria, if you want – that rests on very strong foundations.
“You don’t need to demolish the house just because a couple of windows have become loose.”
We met Martin Sellner, the leader of a group of youthful, “alt-right hipsters” today – and he said their “Identitarian Movement” has dedicated itself to defeating Van de Bellen and his “pro-immigration policies”.
Austria accepted 90,000 asylum seekers last year as the migration crisis unfolded and many people here initially welcomed them – but there has been hardening of attitudes since.
Mr Sellner and his team of provocateurs say they are fighting “mass-Islamisation” and made their point by placing a giant black veil on the statue of an 18th century Austrian Empress, called Maria Theresa.
“We are not racist,” Mr Sellner stated, when I questioned this act of protest.
“The problem in our society is that every right-wing politician who criticises immigration is literally Hitler and we are fed up with this.
“We are not anti-semites or neo-Nazis. We just want to preserve our own ethnocultural identity.”
The famous Christmas markets have opened in Vienna and we saw hundreds of city residents sipping “gluhwein” and seeking a little electoral relief.
But Austria stands at a crossroads, and there are other countries which may be ready to follow suit.