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Bumper Sticker Straw Poll, 12-16 to 12-22-07: The Race Evens

It’s only eleven days until the process to nominate presidential candidates for the election of 2008 commences with the Iowa caucuses of January 3, 2008. Despite the predictions of a number of pundits at this time last year, there hasn’t been a coronation of any agreed-upon nominee before voting begins — we’ve got a rooting-tooting real horse race here, and if anything, the race is evening out coming down the stretch.

For the past three years, we’ve kept track of committed support indicated by sales of Election 2008 bumper stickers, magnets, campaign buttons, t-shirts and now lawn signs that we sell in support for each of the Democratic candidates in the 2008 presidential race. While polls measure fickle opinions, our measure tracks the stronger commitment marked by the laying down of cash to promote a candidate in public. The more strongly committed are more likely to caucus and to vote. The following is the percent share of sales of our Election 2008 gear in the past week of December 16 – December 22, 2007:

Barack Obama: 24.5%
Hillary Clinton: 23.5%
Joseph Biden: 14.7%
John Edwards: 13.4%
Dennis Kucinich: 10.1%
Al Gore: 5.2%
Bill Richardson: 4.2%
Chris Dodd: 2.9%
Mike Gravel: less than 1 percent

This past week, Christopher Dodd took to the well of the Senate and through the force of his will and his arguments brought the anti-constitution, anti-accountability, big brother FISA Amendments Act of 2007 to a halt. And while Dodd’s percentage share of campaign items grew sixfold as a consequence this past week, that sixfold increase was from a very, very small portion of Election 2008 goods up to a simply small portion. If this act of political bravery won’t catapult Chris Dodd into competitiveness, I can’t imagine what will.

But the current frontrunners, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, aren’t as far out in front as they used to be. It’s not just Chris Dodd who gained an appreciable amount of support this week. Joseph Biden and John Edwards also gained share, John Edwards most notably. Nobody’s in the mood to fall in line behind any agreed-upon candidate of someone’s invented consensus. Good.

Eleven days, folks. Eleven days until the nominating process begins. We’ll be keeping close track of developments as the days close in, sharing what we know with you between bites of figgy pudding.

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