It’s March now, and the winds are blowing outside my door and across the political landscape, which is littered with the debris of beached campaigns: Evan Bayh. Russ Feingold. John Kerry. Tom Vilsack. Mark Warner. Electoral wrecks each one, destined to be picked over by the scavengers of history. But still others remain, and these sturdy champions jockey for position in an over-the-top, envelope-pushing ballet of mixed metaphors…
Yeah, you’ll be hearing lots of stuff like that over the next couple of years. What they’ll really be trying to say is, “Hey, who looks like they’re going to be our next president? Let’s see…”. But they can’t say that on national TV, because it doesn’t sound grave and portentious enough. I don’t have any such compunctions. So hey, who’s doing well this month? Let’s see…
As you may know, since November 2004 we’ve been keeping track of sales rankings for the different campaigns within our line of bumper stickers, buttons, posters and t-shirts with messages of support for Democratic presidential candidates. Here are the stats for February 2007 with no further ado or fuss:
Percent Share of Sales of Presidential Election Gear for 2008 Democratic Contenders: Data for February 2007
Barack Obama: 72.5%
Hillary Clinton: 10.8%
Al Gore: 8.1%
Bill Richardson: 2.7%
John Edwards: 1.4%
Dennis Kucinich: 1.1%
Contenders who garnered some share of our Election 2008 sales, but whose share fell below 1%, were (in order of sale share) Mike Gravel, Joe Biden, Christopher Dodd, Tom Vilsack, Wesley Clark, Al Sharpton, Nancy Pelosi, Bill Moyers and John Kerry. To give you an idea of the gulf separating these also-rans from strong contendership, let’s consider Joseph Biden, who garnered only 0.726% of all Election 2008 sales this month. That’s one hundredth the level of support Barack Obama got during the same time period. Something major will have to occur to fill that kind of gulf.
Filling gulfs reminds me of mangled metaphors, and the only prediction I can make with certainty is that you’ll see many more of those by the end of this month. What else may happen? The only clue I have is that past patterns predict the future pretty well. With that in mind, Barack Obama must be pretty happy. Hillary Clinton should be worried. Al Gore, John Edwards, Bill Richardson and Dennis Kucinich have some hope, but something big will have to change to boost their level of populist momentum. And the rest? Well… there’s always the infinite realm of possibility, isn’t there? We’ll keep on keeping track — check back next month to find out where the trends are pointing next.