Since the day after Election Day of 2004, we have been tracking the number of bumper stickers, magnets, campaign buttons and shirts that we sell in support for each of the Democratic candidates in the 2008 presidential race. 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 is the percent share of sales of our Election 2008 gear in the past week of October 7 – October 13, 2007:
Al Gore: 34.6%
Hillary Clinton: 28.7%
Barack Obama: 16.6%
John Edwards: 11.2%
Dennis Kucinich: 6.2%
Joseph Biden: less than 1 percent
Chris Dodd: less than 1 percent
Mike Gravel: less than 1 percent
Bill Richardson: less than 1 percent
Christopher Dodd, Bill Richardson, Mike Gravel and Joe Biden have continued their very poor performance in sales: after the better part of a year in public performance after public performance after public performance, they’ve had their opportunities to get the word out and make their case, and only a few people are buying the message. The candidates who garner a competitive share of sales are Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich…
… and Al Gore. Gore’s win of the Nobel Peace Prize last week resulted in a wave of sales of items supporting his candidacy for the presidency of the United States. These are people who’ve committed in a financial way and in the physically lasting presence of a shirt, sticker or button to the idea of Gore as a presidential candidate in the year 2008.
Let’s put Gore’s surge in context by showing the trend for the year so far, right up to October 13, 2007. Iâ€™ve split the candidates into three separate graphs because stuffing all the candidate trends together makes the results look like a mess of spaghetti.
As the charts show, Gore’s rise in this “bumper sticker straw poll” of sorts didn’t come at the expense of support for Hillary Clinton. She actually gained slightly in her share of sales over the past week. Rather, in the past week Gore’s surge came at the relative expense of other alternatives to Clinton. With the exception of John Edwards, the other Clinton alternatives fell in their share of sales.
Things are getting interesting in the Democratic Party race — especially as ballot deadlines loom and Al Gore continues to refuse to absolutely rule out a presidential run. I can tell you that so far this week, sales of stickers supporting the Draft Gore movement continue at a brisk pace. Will it keep up? Look for another update next week.