Oprah’s Support = 1 Million Votes
Posted on Aug 11, 2008
The power of Oprah Winfrey’s endorsement is clearly quantifiable when it comes to her “favorite things” (e.g. book sales), but how about her favorite people (e.g. Barack Obama)? Well, a scholarly duo from the University of Maryland came up with 1 million votes as the impressive, if somewhat strangely derived, number that represents the boost Oprah has given Obama since she gave him her official stamp of approval.
The New York Times:
The economists, Craig Garthwaite and Timothy Moore of the University of Maryland, College Park, contend that Ms. Winfrey’s endorsement of Barack Obama last year gave him a boost of about one million votes in the primaries and caucuses. Their conclusions were based partly on a county-by-county analysis of subscriptions to O: The Oprah Magazine and sales figures for books that were included in her book club.
Those data points were cross-referenced with the votes cast for Mr. Obama in various polling precincts. The results showed a correlation between magazine sales and the vote share obtained by Mr. Obama, and extrapolated an effect of 1,015,559 votes.