We’re at the collective precipice. Over the past three weeks, we’ve been watching as the Democratic presidential candidates swish, slide, wipe out or nail the challenges of the electoral slopes of Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina. But now you can say bye-bye to the soft pack of the bunny slopes. In one week and two days, 22 states hold votes simultaneously to indicate preference for the remaining Democratic presidential contenders: Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Mike Gravel, and Barack Obama. That’s a whopper of a steep slope, the steepest of the season. Hoo boy, here we goooo…
Trends in Americans’ interest are mirrored in patterns of sales from our collection of Election 2008 bumper stickers, magnets, campaign buttons, t-shirts yard signs. Since the Election Day debacle of 2004, we’ve kept track of committed support for various presidential contenders, indicated by sales of this political merchandise. 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 January 20 to January 26, 2008:
Compare that to the figures just from the period from last night after the polls closed in South Carolina to oh, right about now:
Wait for next week’s figures to see if this wave (a tsunami? nice surf? a mere ripple?) settles out.