Who’s On Top? Sales Rankings for 2008 Democratic Presidential Gear (October 2006)
October has passed, and a new month begins. And so it is time for us to update our sales rankings for our line of election 2008 bumper stickers, buttons, posters and t-shirts.
This month, Barack Obama announced that he is considering running for president, and to put it succinctly, BOOM.
Just look at the difference between September and October:
Percent Share of Sales of Presidential Election Gear for 2008 Democratic Contenders: Data for September 2006
Al Gore: 30.7%
Barack Obama: 28.4%
Hillary Clinton: 13.6%
Joe Biden: 7.8%
Bill Richardson: 4.0%
Wesley Clark: 3.6%
Russ Feingold: 2.2%
John Edwards: 2.0%
Mark Warner: 2.0%
Percent Share of Sales of Presidential Election Gear for 2008 Democratic Contenders: Data for October 2006
Barack Obama: 77.3%
Al Gore: 6.0%
Hillary Clinton: 5.9%
Wesley Clark: 2.9%
Bill Richardson: 1.1%
John Edwards: 1.0%
Joe Biden: 0.9%
Russ Feingold: 0.9%
Evan Bayh: 0.9%
Weâ€™ve been keeping track of trends in the sale of Election 2008 stickers, buttons and shirts since the debacle of November 2004… and we’ve never seen a candidate capture this large a share of presidential campaign gear in a given month. As on the TV networks and in the newspapers, it was all Obama all the time this past month. Can this level of Obamamania be maintained? You know what happened to Icarus when he flew too close to the sun. OK, actually, that was fiction, but it was meant to represent the dangers of flying too high in the public’s perception. There’s only one thing that Americans seem to like better than a hero, and that’s watching a hero fall. In the past two years, we’ve seen Barbara Boxer, Hillary Clinton, Russ Feingold and Al Gore each top the charts for a time, only to fall back in buyers’ esteem as a Democratic champion. Politics is filled with very competitive, highly ambitious and occasionally ruthless people. Look for the knives to be sharpening behind Barack Obama’s back.
Senator Obama’s surge in sales rankings could be due to two sorts of changes. On the one hand, it could be that the Obamapalooza drew from the ranks of those who support of other candidates, causing them to switch alleigance. This would cause a drop in the numbers of sales to other candidates. On the other hand, it could be that the committed supporters of other candidates are still out there, still buying items in support of other candidates in numbers similar to numbers before. But in this second possibility, the Obama announcement brought in so many newly committed people — people who hadn’t been inclined to support anyone before — that the other candidates sold relatively less. The latter seems to be what’s happened here, since with the exception of Barack Obama and Russ Feingold (who is faring worse in recent months), every presidential contender pretty much maintained their current level of absolute sales.
Every additional bumper sticker, button, refrigerator magnet, poster, postcard, or t-shirt put out into the world to make a personal public endorsement of a potential presidential candidate will bump that candidate up in the next month’s rankings, building online momentum as well. Whose supporters are most numerous and most motivated? We’ll keep on keeping track — check back next month to find out where the trends are pointing next.