Saturday, April 20, 2024

Urban Outfitters has two Mitt Romney T-shirts on sale in its Harvard Square shop, including one of him looking like Gene Simmons from the band KISS.

Harvard Square’s Urban Outfitters has two Mitt Romney T-shirt styles for those who want them, a worker said Friday: one with the former governor of Massachusetts and now Republican presidential candidate as a football player, and one of him looking like Gene Simmons from the band KISS.

The question is, for whom is the Harvard Square store stocking these? Tourists?

Averaging a dozen surveys, gives President Barack Obama a widening lead in Massachusetts, as of late May at 58 percent of the vote to Romney’s 34 percent. Narrowing that down, Middlesex County was registered as 38 percent Democrats and 11 percent Republican as of 2008. And in Cambridge the percentage of self-identified Republicans drops to 5 percent. This is the so-called eighth-most liberal big city in the country.

It’s worse if you look at Urban Outfitters’ intended market: the young. Obama’s approval rating is five points higher among 18- to 34-year-olds compared with the overall population, and that’s well over 45 percent of the city.

The city does have some young Republicans, though, as well as a notorious giver to conservative candidates and causes in Urban Outfitters co-founder, chairman and current chief executive Richard Hayne. So although Harvard Square’s Urban Outfitters has two of five possible Mitt Romney T-shirts — the football version described by a worker Friday doesn’t appear on the company’s website — they “sell about as well as any other of our run-off, ironic, graphic T-shirts,” the worker said.

Of course, that Mitt-as-Gene-Simmons shirt is in the discount rack.

Messages were left Friday with the company, which also has a Harvard Square location for its Anthropologie chain. Knowledge the Mitt Romney shirts existed came via Jezebel, which notes the chain as an equal-opportunity campaign headquarters — it has Ron Paul designs as well, and one Obama shirt.