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.