Here is one indicator of a “snap” reaction to last night’s debate between Democratic contenders (sans Mike Gravel) for the presidency before a raucus, cheerful, indignant union crowd: the percent share of sales of our Democratic presidential bumper stickers, buttons, shirts and posters garnered by each of the Democratic contenders during the 24 hours following the closing of the that debate. The distribution looks like this:
There are two tiers of performance here. In that first tier are Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Dennis Kucinich. Indeed, Dennis Kucinich ranks above Barack Obama in the day after the debate, perhaps resulting from a smiling, confindent performance last night, but also reflecting a strong performance overall in the past month, much stronger than fellow outrager Mike Gravel and yes, much stronger than John Edwards, Joseph Biden, Bill Richardson and Christopher Dodd, who make up the second tier.
Then there’s Al Gore. Gore is not doing as well as he had been earlier this summer, but support for him clearly shouldn’t be discounted. Just today he said he may re-enter politics, although he has no “plan” to do so in 2008.
I may not have a “plan” to finish this post, but, oh, look! Here I am. Will Al Gore pull a similar trick, setting the emerging campaign off its current apparent equilibrium?