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Amazon’s Electoral Heat Map

All those purchases by card on-line just had to add up to a stack of data for someone to mine, and so it is that we are given the map above.  The Amazon Election Heat Map above shows where the guys and gals at your local on-line book depot gauge the way the political wind is blowing by purchases of books state by state. Its fairly time sensitive covering the last 30 days only.   Click the link to see the thing live.

It’s wonderful as it changes from day to day.  Positively interactive as they say.  As of yesterday it was closer than the map suggests, with 56% in the red Republican corner and 44% blue Democrat.

Amazon also tells you which books are doing best for each camp.  That said things are looking a bit bleak for blue.

 So we have the likes of Dinesh D’Souza’s Obama’s America: Unmaking the American Dream, in the red pile along with Aaron Klein and Brenda Eliot’s Fool me twice: Obama’s shocking plans for the next four years exposed and Ann Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.  And before you suggest it, they don’t mean audio books either.

 While in the blue heap is Howard Zinn’s A people’s history of the United States, and Joe Stiglitz’s The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society endangers our future.

Obama’s own offering Audacity of Hope is still outselling Romney’s No Apology: The case for American greatness.

Does this tell us much?  Probably not, voting isn’t dependent on literacy or interest in political books.  Some choices also fall across the lines.  Caro’s biography of Johnson should naturally fall into the blue pile, but is so critical that my mother would have bought it just for ammunition.  Maybe other people also buy books from authors of different persuasions just in order to know their enemy.  Perhaps the truth is people are just too embarrassed to ask for right wing books in shops – so only do that on-line?

Who knows?  But it is a lot of fun.

Copyright David Macadam 2012

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