Free-for-All 2008: Christmas Rush?



It’s December 14th; do you know where your candidate is? This is crunch time. Voters who haven’t given levers and chads a thought since November, 2004, will tune in for the first time during the next four weeks. Can the candidates generate any more attention than they already have? The evidence I’m gathering indicates “no” - particularly for the leaders.

From the Chatter Rankings' inception in May 2005, total chatter hovered between 10 and 20,000 per month until November 2006. In December 2006, however, it spiked to 70,000. Apart from a lull over the summer, chatter has remained of that order of magnitude, often lower. Here are the numbers for Hillary and Rudy over the last year:

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Clinton6,04712,5026,8586,9937,0127,5267,0536,5366,8437,9319,4399,780
Giuliani3,6454,4965,3004,7294,7384,4554,3623,0633,1995,4145,4605,830

Basically, the news reached saturation point a year ago, and candidates haven't gotten more (online, print) exposure than they did before. Perhaps there is more TV-time than a year ago - but wouldn't you have assumed the same about print media as well?

This is bad news for the Clintons and Giulianis of the race: they had high early name recognition and exposure, but they haven't been able to extend that lead at all. Instead, other candidates are getting a share of the news pie. Look at Mike Huckabee's numbers over the same period. He had a few big months, but mostly was garnering a fraction of the attention of the big candidates. Now, all of a sudden, "Huckaboom" is on everyone's tongue.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Huckabee4061,0719027581,3271,1192773986105821,2833,685

Perhaps the "Long Campaign" has its limits.. And perhaps we, the news-reading electorate, have a limit as to how much political flak we'll read.

This month's data:

Rank Candidate ChatterRank Change
R.1 Rudy Giuliani 5,8300
R.2 Gov. Mitt Romney 5,051+1
R.3 Sen. John McCain 4,052-1
R.4 Gov. Mike Huckabee 3,685+2
R.5 Fred Thompson 3,213-1
R.6 Rep. Ron Paul 2,182-1
R.7 Rep. Duncan Hunter 321+2
R.8 Rep. Tom Tancredo 2760
R.9 Sen. Sam Brownback 153-2
R.10 Newt Gingrich 1380
....................................................................................................
D.1 Sen. Hillary Clinton 9,7800
D.2 Sen. John Edwards 6,679+1
D.3 Sen. Barack Obama 6,404-1
D.4 Sen. Christopher Dodd 1,6130
D.5 Gov. Bill Richardson 1,392+1
D.6 Sen. Joseph Biden 850-1
D.7 Al Gore 8130
D.8 Rep. Dennis Kucinich 6330
D.9 Mike Gravel 3030

Notes: The Chatter Rankings are created by searching each candidate's name plus "2008" in the Google News database. Tested but not qualifying is Alan Keyes (84).

See recent graphs of the Chatter Rankings plus Chatter Rankings from November, October, September, August, July, June, May, April, March, February, January, December 2006, November, October, September, August, July, June, May, April, March, February, December 2005, August, July, June, and May.

The monthly prediction...

Dec '07: Clinton & Richardson over Giuliani & Thompson
Nov '07: Clinton & Richardson over Giuliani & Thompson
Oct '07: Clinton & Richardson over Giuliani & Thompson
Sep '07: Giuliani & Thompson over Clinton & Richardson
Aug '07: Giuliani & Thompson over Clinton & Warner
Jul '07: Giuliani & Thompson over Clinton & Warner
Jun '07: Clinton & Warner over McCain & Romney
May '07: Clinton & Warner over McCain & Romney
Apr '07: Clinton & Warner over McCain & Giuliani
Mar '07: Clinton & Obama over McCain & Giuliani
Feb '07: Clinton & Obama over McCain & Giuliani
Jan '07: Clinton & Obama over McCain & Giuliani
Dec '06: Clinton & Obama over McCain & Giuliani
Nov '06: McCain & Giuliani over Clinton & Warner
Oct '06: McCain & Giuliani over Clinton & Warner
Sep '06: McCain & Giuliani over Clinton & Warner
Aug '06: McCain & Giuliani over Clinton & Warner
Jul '06: Clinton & Warner over Allen & Romney
Jun '06: Clinton & Warner over Allen & Romney
May '06: Clinton & Warner over Allen & Romney
Apr '06: Clinton & Warner over Allen & Romney
Mar '06: Clinton & Warner over Allen & Rice
Feb '06: Clinton & Warner over Allen & Rice

Posted by Chops at December 14, 2007 1:58 PM
Comments
Comment #240765

Americans get tired of any topic or anyone for that matter,unless there is sex involved.The good part is some of the down ticket candidates would make better presidents than the leaders.

Posted by: bills at December 14, 2007 8:27 PM
Comment #240877


Bills: Sex and violence.

Posted by: jlw at December 17, 2007 3:11 PM
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