Political Identification

Book-Buying Patterns Suggest a Conservative Shift

Liberal-leaning books are preferred only in an eastern cluster, says Amazon


If political book-buying habits were a good gauge of voters' electoral preferences, Mitt Romney would be a very happy man.

A new Amazon.com feature called the Election Heat Map 2012 (flagged by our Post colleague Mike Rosenwald) divides best-selling political books into conservative (red) and liberal (blue) categories, then tracks sales in every state.

 And the country's reading habits appear to be much more conservative than its voting patterns.

Amazon's map assigns each state a shade of blue or red depending upon how many "red" and "blue" books have been purchased there during the last 30 days. The map is predominately red, save for five Eastern states and the District Of Columbia, which are blue, and Pennsylvania, which is evenly split. Nationally, 56 percent of purchases were red books while 44 percent were blue books.