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Voting by the Book: Amazon Maps US's Political Reading List

Voting by the Book: Amazon Maps US's Political Reading List

If our electoral map were as red as Amazon's map of our political book-buying habits, things would be looking up for John McCain. Yet while Americans are buying up conservative books, our electoral map is getting bluer and bluer each day.

I initially chalked up this discrepancy to how unscientific Amazon's map is. After all, so many variables could affect this. Like how book publishers began feverishly launching conservative imprints five years ago to keep up with an increasing public demand. Could there just be a lot of conservative books to buy right now? Maybe they are better? Republicans tend to be older and older people read print over websites. Or maybe Democrats are at the library, or just buying all their books at indie stores. Who knows?

However, I became more convinced of a real connection when I compared the 2008 map to the 2004. I couldn't help but concoct a few theories about what we're reading buying. To see what I found,


The map this year is much redder than it was four years ago; however, we elected a Republican president then and, if polls can be believed, we're about to elect a Democratic president. It could be possible that people read more when they're looking for answers, or an alternative to a reality they don't like. Did Democrats fear Republican control in 2004? Are Republicans worried about a Democratic president, Senate, and Congress today? Or is this just a meaningless map to help Amazon sell books?


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Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
"an alternative to a reality they don't like." Yeah, that sounds about right as far as these kinds of books go. I wouldn't put too much stock in them.
MarinerMandy MarinerMandy 8 years
Oh, and I bought Obama's book, so I guess I cancel myself out.
MarinerMandy MarinerMandy 8 years
I bought Barry Goldwater's book this year, but I typically don't buy partisan books. I'm guessing they mean books by partisan pundit type people like Anne Coulter or Al Franken. Not really my cup of tea on either side.
estrelas estrelas 8 years
It seems reminiscent of "know thy enemy", but I have to question by what criteria constitutes a book as conservative?
stephley stephley 8 years
"Did Democrats fear Republican control in 2004?" We did, and obviously, our fears were well-founded.
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