Too Many Signs

Today is the big Democratic gubernatorial primary in Virginia, where I happen to be at the moment. You may recognize one of the candidates, Terry McAuliffe, who was a Clinton crony back in the day. Humorously, this ultimate Washington insider is trying to run as a Richmond outsider. It doesn't look like he'll win, which makes me happy.

Anyway, I have seen a lot of campaign signs, and I think McAuliffe has the most. Often, his people will put a bunch of them in the same spot on a roadside. Check out this site for an egregious example.

From a strategic standpoint, what is the point of this? I understand candidates want to get their names out there, but come on. I figure there are two types of people; those who know about an upcoming election, and who's running, and those that don't. I'd expect the former to be more likely to vote. Campaign signs impact the latter group more, I would think, but will they show up at the polls? Maybe if there was a presidential election, people would go vote for that, and then when they get to the governor spot on the ballot, say, "Hey, I know that name! I'll vote for him." But I don't really see how signs translate to votes.

My main theory is that a lot of signs suggest a lot of support for that candidate. People see that and think, "Hhmmm, a lot of people like that guy. I'll consider voting for him." But that would seem to only work if you saw the signs in a lot of people's yards, because that means that family endorses that candidate. When 20 signs are dropped on a roadside, it's different. In fact, it seems like more of a turn-off. But I guess we'll find out tonight how the signs worked for McAuliffe.

1 comment :

  1. From what I've read, the reason McAuliffe is losing (when he seemed to be the frontrunner) is exactly because he's trying to hard. He's outspending his opponents to an unseemly degree--you know, in this economy--and he's on TV way too much. So I guess the sign overabundance is one symptom of the greater problem.