Inside and outside of Oakland

Ron Paul leads the GOP field in the T-shirt economy

   Mainstream polls suggest Tuesday’s Michigan Republican primary is between Michigan native Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
   Just don’t tell Ron Paul that.
   An informal poll of readers of The Oakland Press on Facebook, and sales of election year merchandise,  suggests that Paul, the Texas congressman, is the favorite — at least when it comes to the T-shirt economy.

   Asked which candidate’s T-shirt they’d be inclined to buy — Romney, Newt Gingrich, Santorum or Paul — readers overwhelmingly chose Paul.
   Of more than 30 answers to the question, 12 picked Paul.
   “Ron Paul without hesitation,” said Ronald Cowden.
   Jason Nolan was the sole person picking Santorum, and Nancy Perkins picked Romney.
   There were also votes cast for Bozo the Clown and Pee-wee Herman.
   Ten people bluntly said none of the above.
   “Wouldn’t waste my time or money buying a t-shirt from either party,” said Christine Sheets.
   While most recent media attention has gone to Romney and Santorum, Paul is adding to his public appearances in the days leading up to Tuesday’s primary, as is Santorum.
   Paul holds there rallies in three days beginning at Central Michigan University Saturday, Hudsonville on Sunday, and Michigan State University on Monday.
   Santorum plans to crisscross much of Michigan in a last bus tour before the polls open Tuesday.
   Romney speaks to tea party groups in Milford tonight and to the Detroit Economic Club Friday.
   Paul, the 76-year-old physician, has a large following among libertarians and young people.
   Sales of merchandise bearing Paul’s name or likeness dwarfs all other candidates expect President Barack Obama’s, the person the Republican candidates want to unseat in November.
   Cafepress.com tracks sales of election year merchandise of all kinds.
   For all merchandise over time, 55 percent of it supports Paul, 29 percent supports Obama, 10 percent supports Romney, 4 percent supports Gingrich and 1 percent supports Santorum.
   However, Obama is the leader when it comes to T-shirt sales at 51 percent, followed by Paul at 34 percent, Romney at 7 percent, Santorum at 6 percent and Gingrich at 2 percent.

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