The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

In Campaign Merchandise, Cain Slipping Fast, Newt Rising Slowly


According to the folks at CafePress, Herman Cain’s momentum is falling pretty quickly . . . and Newt Gingrich is picking up some steam, albeit much slower than Cain is losing his share of the candidate-paraphernalia market.

CafePress is a website where users can design and produce their own merchandise — t-shirts, buttons, bumper stickers, etc. CafePress touts itself as a “cultural barometer,” and the company has set up an “Election Meter” that tracks merchandise-sales trends for each presidential candidate.

This week, the CafePress Election Meter reports,

Herman Cain-tagged merchandise sales nosedive by 62 percent since October 17 with Cain-related products falling a dramatic 38 percent since last week. Meanwhile, for the first time during this campaign, Newt Gingrich-tagged merchandise sales on CafePress have risen two points, from 4 percent to 6 percent.

Unsurprisingly, it appears that t-shirts and other products tend to reflect the direction seen in opinion polls — as a candidate gets more name recognition and popularity, there is more demand for the paraphernalia.

Notice that Mitt Romney is not actually that high, mired in the single digits. It may be that some candidates’ supporters are buying their bumper stickers and knickknacks through the candidates’ web sites . . . or it might just be that Romney fans aren’t all that enthusiastic about their guy. The consistent high share of Ron Paul in these metrics suggests that it is a useful measuring stick of passion, not necessarily of the GOP primary electorate as a whole.

Rick Perry has seen a free fall in these figures, mirroring his national poll numbers.

Tags: Herman Cain , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Ron Paul


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