Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Thoughts about yard signs

If you're looking for polling data, Polipundit is the blog for you.

While I'm encouraged that Bush continues to lead in the polls, I'm not encouraged by how narrow his lead is. That this country could possibly elect someone as sociopathic as John Kerry disturbs me. We have, in John Kerry, one of the most dishonest candidates in my lifetime; a man so consumed by his mad quest for power that he will literally say anything to get elected.

Take this for what it's worth. This past weekend we drove north. Once beyond the limits of Our Fair City, we saw only one Kerry/Edwards sign. (Well, two, actually, if you count the two toilets we saw along the side of the road labelled "Kerry" and "Edwards" with a big banner overhead that read "Flush the Johns!") This absence was most noticeable in yards that featured signs for Democratic Senator Feingold and Democratic Rep. David Obey, but had no Kerry/Edwards signs accompanying them. (Could it be that some of these rural democrats will support all their candidates except the two running for President?)

On the other hand, we saw plenty of signs (many hand-made, some very large) that supported President Bush.

I previously mentioned that I noticed the same absence of Kerry/Edwards signs on my journey to Lambeau Field earlier this month. The Democrats are counting on the support of the rural voters of Western Wisconsin to help carry this state, but once beyond the borders of this college town, the Kerry support (at least in terms of yard signs) seems to be rare.

That's all highly anecdotal, but may be an indicator that the President has more support in Wisconsin that the polls may show.

I've been afraid to put up a Bush/Cheney sign in my yard. I worry (and I believe rightly so) that it would make my home a target for vandalism, and I worry about the reaction from neighbors. Our closest neighbors, who we like a lot, have ties to the local university, and so I am assuming that they're Kerry supporters. Maybe this is a wrong assumption--we've never discussed politics with them--but I would hate to jeopardize our relationship with them over politics. I wouldn't think they'd be that petty anyway, but I've been surprised by the anti-Bush rage I've witnessed from otherwise level-headed people. So I've chosen to not put up any political signs.

Do yard signs have any effect? I doubt someone will decide a vote based on seeing a yard sign, but these campaign signs do have the effect of creating an atmosphere of support for a candidate. While that may never be enough to get someone to change a vote, it might be enough to energize someone who was thinking of skipping the vote into getting out to his polling place on election day.

There is one Kerry/Edwards sign on my block. There are no Bush/Cheney signs. If I put up a sign, will it create an atmosphere of support that might, in turn, cause a few more people to go to the polling place on election day to cast a vote for George Bush? Or would I end up causing a neighborhood rift? The Kerry/Edwards supporter on our block is a nice lady with two dogs. She's complimented our flower gardens. If I put up a Bush/Cheney sign will she send her dogs to dig up our garden?

There's only a week left, and I'm still undecided.

About yard signs, anyway.


At 4:59 PM, Blogger Dan Cummings said...

I think you should put two signs in your yard and one in each of your neighbor's yards. :)


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