Ever since the 2004 presidential election, we have been tracking the strength of the different potential Democratic nominees for President in 2008 through a simple but effective measure: the number of bumper stickers, campaign buttons, posters and t-shirts that we sell in support for each of the Democratic contenders in the 2008 race. Instead of the easy but weak and changeable indicator of an opinion given over the telephone to a stranger, our own system for tracking candidates measures the kind of support that counts – whether Americans are willing to spend money to show their support for a particular candidate in a public way. That’s commitment.
Until now, we’ve offered updated statistics on the support in sales for the various candidates every month — because a month is a nice round unit of time, but more importantly because we wanted to be sure that we collected enough data points to keep from blabbing on about patterns that were just an artifact of chance. But last month marked a change, and now we find ourselves selling as many Election 2008 bumper stickers, buttons, etc. in a week as we used to sell in a month. So why not make weekly reports? Yes, let’s do just that. We’ll still make more detailed updates on a monthly basis — but our weekly updates will offer a quick snapshot for dataphiles.
Our weekly posts will show trends over the previous six weeks, and will focus on the five most popular candidates across that time (mostly to keep the graph from getting too busy to read). Here is this week’s update, covering the period from January 1 to February 10, 2007 for the top 5 sharegetters, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Al Gore, Barack Obama and Bill Richardson:
While John Edwards deflates from his late December announcement, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are duelling with alternate multiple announcements. Why is Al Gore surging back to 3rd place, and will his surge continue? Tune in next week for the thrilling answer on 2008! Tracking! Statistics!
OK, so I don’t know whether the answer will be thrilling. I just always wanted to end a post like that. Do come back now to see what happens.