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Tracking the 2008 Democratic Race, January – June 2007

Since the beginning of the year, Irregular Times has been following the ups and downs of the a variety of Democratic Party presidential candidates and contenders, measured in terms of the percent share of election 2008 bumper stickers, buttons, posters and made-in-the-USA shirts that each contender (declared or undeclared) has garnered in our sales statistics. While polls measure opinions of the moment, our measure tracks a more strong and lasting and lasting commitment 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.

The following are the overall rankings for declared candidates and undeclared contenders for the presidency within the Democratic Party, based on share of sales, for the six month period of January 1, 2007 to June 30, 2007:

1. Barack Obama: 46.7%
2. Hillary Clinton: 17.1%
3. Al Gore: 13.7%
4. Bill Richardson: 9.1%
5. John Edwards: 4.2%
6. Dennis Kucinich: 2.3%
7. Joseph Biden: 1.6%
8. Bill Moyers: 1.2%
9. Mike Gravel: 1.1%
10. Christopher Dodd: 0.9%
11. Wesley Clark: 0.6%

A variety of other possible contenders, such as 2004 contender Al Sharpton and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, grabbed less than one half of one percent of the overall share.

This overall ranking masks some noticeable shifts over the course of the year so far. Here is a graph of our weekly sales rankings for the contenders from the beginning of January through June 30, 2007:

Percent Share of Bumper Stickers and Buttons promoting Democratic Party presidential candidates, January through June 2007

While Barack Obama started the year literally off the charts in our scale measuring commitment to a candidate, the euphoria around Obama has subsided somewhat, giving way more recently to a placement that is in the top tier, but in contention with a surging Al Gore and a steadily popular Hillary Clinton. Dennis Kucinich and John Edwards have had their peaklets, but each has consistently hung back in our rankings of sales. Bill Richardson, on the other hand, experienced a real growth in the popularity of his candidacy, at least until his rambles about needles and the like in the last Democratic policy debate, after which he has dropped in the share strongly supporting his run. Christopher Dodd, Joseph Biden and Mike Gravel, in the meantime, are like Barack Obama in that they are off the charts, but unlike Barack Obama in that they’ve dropped through the floor of possible support, not crashed through the top.

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