Tracking the 2008 Democratic Race: Stats for May 20-26, 2007
Since November of 2004, we have been tracking the strength of the different potential Democratic nominees for President in 2008 through a simple alternative measure: the number of bumper stickers, magnets, campaign buttons, posters and shirts that we sell in support for each of the Democratic contenders in the 2008 presidential race. Instead of the 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 kind of strong commitment turns into donations, and later turns into votes. As the election season has gotten underway, we’ve updated our tracking of jockeying in the presidential horserace once a week. Below are results for two time periods: the week of May 20 – May 26, and the year 2007 so far.
The following is the percent share of sales of our Election 2008 gear in the past week, for each candidate who garnered at least a 1% share of sales:
Al Gore: 31.8% (last week: 15.4%)
Barack Obama: 26.0% (last week: 28.2%)
Bill Richardson: 24.1% (last week: 30.7%)
Hillary Clinton: 7.4% (last week: 12.4%)
Dennis Kucinich: 5.5% (last week: 3.5%)
John Edwards: 2.7% (last week: 3.5%)
Mike Gravel: 1.5% (last week: 1.9%)
Christopher Dodd and Joseph Biden aren’t on the list. Although both have had the opportunity of many years in the U.S. Senate to burnish a national identity, neither is proving popular. That’s a pretty stable result, especially for Christopher Dodd. Senator Dodd may be frustrated by this week’s news coverage of the Iraq war vote, which prominently noted Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s “NO” votes, but failed to mention Dodd’s “NO” vote at all. Dodd may have tried to counter this yesterday by, somewhat oddly, calling out the press to criticize Clinton and Obama for not having cast their “NO” votes earlier during the Senate voting procedure.
Meanwhile, the 1.1% Mike Gravel — whose New Hampshire director visited here a couple of days ago to complain about the unfairness of his “media access” — released no press or other statement on his website about the issue in response. I can’t find any reference to statements by Gravel off-website on the subject of the war vote either. You know, media access isn’t going to be favorable unless media access is attempted. Is the Gravel campaign even trying?
Let’s look at changes so far this year among the more popular presidential candidates:
There’s some stability here, and some change. Stable decreases in the shares of sales going to Obama and Clinton — the previous double heavyweights of the campaign — continued this past week. People are finding alternatives. One of those, Al Gore, is enjoying what may be a temporary surge due to the release of his book, The Assault on Reason (I’m reading it and hope to have a review soon). And what’s happening with Bill Richardson? Last week, we might have said the movement toward him was a temporary response to his campaign announcement. But this week the trend continues.
Do you have any insight into this development? What’s drawing people to Bill Richardson that didn’t draw them before?