The national election benefits media via tens of millions of dollars in political ads and political consultants with a torrent of new business. A less well-known industry also does well. This is the set of companies that sell candidate-based merchandise. Like these other industries, they have between now and November to reap what they can.
The mix of Trump merchandise is very different from the Clinton collection, according to online research firm Hitwise. Trump merchandise is also flying off the shelves, at least as compared to Clinton’s.
[T]he number of Americans who have searched for Trump merchandise since April outnumbers those who have searched for Clinton merchandise by a margin of almost five-to-one. Score one for The Donald. However, when looking at the boost in online searches for such merchandise prior to and just after each candidate’s nominating convention, Clinton received the bigger “bounce.” Score one for Clinton.
The conventions did more for Trump than Clinton, at least in the merchandise industry:
Specifically, searches for Clinton merchandise the week of the Democratic National Convention increased a relative 352% over the week prior. Trump, meanwhile, received a “bounce” of 255% the week of the Republican National Convention over the week prior. Since the close of both conventions, searches for each candidate’s respective merchandise have returned to levels just slightly higher than their pre-convention norm. That means that Trump merch searches are back to outnumbering those for Clinton’s merch by a healthy margin despite the fact that he is polling considerably worse than Clinton these days.
The top five online searches for Trump merchandise for the 12 weeks that ended August 6: Trump hat (4.26%), Trump signs (2.50%), Trump hats (2.30%), Trump bumper stickers (2.28%) and Trump shirts (2.26%). That’s right “hat” and “hats” are different.
For Clinton, the five leaders over the same period: Hillary Clinton sign (4.11%), Hillary Clinton bumper sticker (3.92%), Hillary bumper sticker (2.33%), Hillary Clinton shirt (2.21%) and Hillary shirt (2.17%).