Sunday, December 24, 2006

Informal, totally unscientific bumper sticker poll of Madison's last-minute book shoppers




It's the afternoon of December 24, and all of Madison's grasshoppers -- the book buyers who somehow just couldn't manage to complete their Christmas purchases by Amazon's shipping deadline -- are swarming to Borders and Barnes & Noble while the ants curl up by the fireplace, watching football or maybe popping a DVD of "It's a Wonderful Life" into the player. I enjoy being out then, because I enjoy the company.

Of course, I am there purely in a research capacity, analyzing whether the last-minute shoppers have any particular political leanings. I undertake a bumper sticker survey of the parking lots of both West side megastores. I probably look as if I lost my car, but this is serious sociological research.

The results: At Borders, progressive bumper stickers outnumber conservative ones, 6-0. Oddly enough, at Barnes & Noble, I can't find any political stickers at all -- until finally, a sheepish looking Feingold supporter pulls up uncertainly in an ancient Toyota Corolla. I did, however, spot a bumper sticker promoting Drama and Forensics, and another urging "Save the Ales," paired with "Saving the world, one beer at a time."

Conclusion: Last-minute shoppers are overwhelmingly liberal. No wonder I enjoy hanging with the other grasshoppers.

1 comment:

Dr Diablo said...

It isn't that last-minute shoppers are overwhelmingly liberal; it's that Madisonians, individually and collectively, are overwhelmingly liberal. It's the only community in which you could slap a "Free Saddam" sticker on your bumper with no fear of getting rammed from behind. Besides, if you counted your own sticker(s), that is rater bias at its most flagrant.

However liberal you might be, you are entitled to a Happy Holiday, and I do wish you one.

Dr Diablo