Politics The Button Gap
posted by May 21 at 11:19 AMon
Flying out of Washington D.C.’s Reagan National Airport on Friday—why doesn’t that fucking airport have WiFi?—I spotted these buttons by the cash register in the newspaper/water/candy shop at my gate. You can see McCain, Guiliani, and Romney buttons in there—but look close and you’ll see an Edwards button too. I dug around and found a single Hillary button. So despite appearances this newspaper/water/candy shop is not partisan. So what accounts for the button gap? Here’s what I think happened: Dem buttons are selling and GOP buttons are not.
I’m guessing the bin was filled with a roughly equal number of Dem and GOP buttons at first. But since Democratic travelers are excited about the upcoming election and happy about their field of candidate, Dems are buying buttons. Republican travelers, on the other hand, are terrified of the coming presidential election and extremely unhappy with GOP candidates and consequently aren’t not buying buttons. Which means the shop is stuck with GOP buttons, which means market forces have conspired to create a button gap—and the impression of partisanship—at the newspaper/water/candy shop at Reagan National.
I have some actual evidence to support my button gap theory: Dem candidates are outraising GOP candidates—in the South. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Dem presidential candidates are raising more money in the American South than GOP presidential candidates. Says TPM Cafe…
The key is that this Dem success is not the result of a single superstar candidate. As it happens, the top three Dems—Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards—are all doing well in the south.
In other race-for-the-White-House news… Edwards is leading in the polls in Iowa, according to the Des Moines Register, followed by Obama, Clinton, and a surprisingly strong showing by Richardson…