Put this on the list of Web gadgets to love: Amazon's interactive map of political book buying. It's a sea of conservatism now, but the information runs deep.
Washington is rated neutral, with 51 percent "red book" sales, and 49 percent blue. Whats a red book? How about "Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned Alaska's Political Establishment Upside Down." It's outselling "Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism," considered a "blue book." There are purple books, too, like Bob Woodward's new one.
And the data goes back in time. Amazons books blog Omnivoracious notes the map swung heavily during the 2004 campaign:
It's blue, blue, blue (especially after Bill Clinton's My Life came out in June), but click on July-August and boy, everything suddenly turns to red (thanks, Swift Boaters). Things swing back a bit before the election, and then in November-December it's mostly blue again, as depressed Democrats turned to Tom Frank and George Lakoff to explain what happened (and keep it from happening again). We have no expectations that the maps reflect voting or will predict the election, but they do tell a story.