Since Election Day 2004, we’ve kept track of committed support for various 2008 presidential contenders, indicated by sales of Election 2008 bumper stickers, magnets, campaign buttons, and American Apparel t-shirts. Lately we’ve added yard signs, lapel stickers and union made t-shirts for the presidential candidates as well. 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 March 9 to March 15, 2008:
During the month of February, Barack Obama’s share of election 2008 gear we sold was close to or above 90%. After the primaries of Texas, Ohio, Vermont and Rhode Island, however, Hillary Clinton experienced a resurgence in sales; although Barack Obama maintained a majority of sales even after the March 4 primaries, Hillary Clinton’s share abruptly climbed from just above a fifteenth of sales to over a quarter of all sales. Would the trend continue? Would Hillary Clinton gain a greater share and head back toward a popular majority in our measures?
The succinct answer is “Nope.” The trend has halted and even slightly reversed. There may have been a move away from an Obama superconsensus, but I don’t see evidence of a move toward a Clinton consensus.