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Monday, May 21, 2007

The Button Gap

posted by on May 21 at 11:19 AM


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…

RSS icon Comments


Go Richardson!!!!

Posted by Mike in MO | May 21, 2007 11:29 AM

Only traitors buy buttons from the Reds.

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 21, 2007 11:59 AM

I wanna see more buzz for Richardson! I haven't made up my mind, but he should be a top tier candidate.

Posted by jkj | May 21, 2007 1:54 PM

Dems buy buttons, Republicans buy automatic weapons. There's your gap.

Posted by wbrproductions | May 21, 2007 2:05 PM

@4 - yeah, but only Dems have used them while in uniform ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 21, 2007 2:36 PM

Nonpartisan is definetly a misnomer here. That button kiosque is bipartisan at best.

Posted by johnnie | May 21, 2007 4:43 PM

Mr. President, we must not allow a button gap!

Posted by Gen. Buck Turgidson, USAF | May 21, 2007 10:35 PM

I'm Canadian, so it's none of my business but Richardson seems to me to be the only qualified candidate for the Dems and the best candidate overall.

Posted by Ken Ketchum | May 22, 2007 8:17 AM

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