For more than three months, we’ve been running a shop containing bumper stickers, buttons and magnets that support various Democratic running mate combinations for the presidential race in 2008. Obama-Edwards 2008? Sure. Gore-Kucinich 2008? OK. Kucinich-Richardson 2008? I don’t understand that pairing myself, but we’ve got it too, just in case. In fact, our goal is to offer just about every possible combination of presidential and vice presidential candidate from among the apparent contenders. That way, YOU can tell US what a reasonable 2008 ticket would look like.
In November, when I started reporting trends in our sales for various Democratic tickets, every single one of the combinations of running mates promoted on a bumper sticker, button or t-shirt we had sold included Barack Obama as either president or vice president. By the middle of December, only one Democratic ticket not including Barack Obama accounted for at least one percent of all running-mates sales, and that was the woman-centered Clinton-Pelosi ticket.
Have matters changed in the past month? Let’s find out. As of today, the following are running mate combinations (placed in President-Vice President order) that garnered at least a 1% share of all sales, making them the major contenders in the hearts of our customers for a 2008 Democratic presidential ticket:
Barack Obama is still in each one (but one) of these tickets, excluding the Clinton-Pelosi ticket (which increased slightly in share this month). That’s some showing, although it’s interesting to note that the lion’s share of Obama-inclusive items name him as a Vice Presidential candidate. The most popular presidential candidate among those buying Democratic ticket items is Al Gore (36.1%), followed by Hillary Clinton (19.2%) and only then Barack Obama (17.6%) and John Edwards (11.2%). Obama is far and away the most popular Vice Presidential candidate named (74.4% of the time), followed at a very distant second by Hillary Clinton (6.4%), Bill Richardson (5.1%) and John Edwards (4.8%). Next to nobody (less than 1%) thinks of Al Gore as a veep any more. Apparently, it’s the top job or nothing for Al Gore in people’s hearts.
The following tickets each garnered less than a 1% share of all running-mates sales, but at least a few people (or one person) thought the ticket would be a good one:
That seems like a lot of possible tickets, but keep in mind that there are nearly 200 possible running-mate combinations. Nobody has shown any desire for a Gore-Clinton ticket, or for a Clinton-Boxer ticket. The preferences shown by our customers are far from random.
As time passes and contenders declare their candidacies or non-candidacies, these considerations will become less abstract and more grounded in practical possibility. I promise to check back in a month or so with an update…
… but in the meantime, let’s take this beyond a question of sales. Let me ask you: what is your Democratic dream ticket for 2008? What do you think the ticket will actually be?