Briefly observed

Yesterday, we drove to the Better Half’s hometown for a family birthday party.  He’s from the state where we currently reside, though his hometown is in a different area.

Our state is pretty reliably blue.  Nate Silver scores it (at the time of this writing) as 99.3% likely to vote for Obama on November 6.  The area where we live right now is very liberal, but the Better Half’s ancestral home is in a much more conservative spot.

As we drove to and from the gathering (and I can now add “helped deflate a moon bounce” to my list of lifetime accomplishments), I made note of the candidate signs in people’s yards.  And I observed something interesting, though I have no idea how predictive the observation is.

There were zero signs of Mitt Romney.  Zero.  The only lawn sign I’ve seen for Romney in my state is half a mile down the road from where I live, and it’s been there for months, so it clearly belongs to someone who was in the tank for Romney way back during primary season.

Now, perhaps this relates to the fact that Romney is almost certainly not going to carry the state, and people just can’t be bothered to voice support for a candidate that won’t win our electoral votes.  But there were a decent number of signs for the Republican candidate for the Senate, who is also quite likely to lose.  None of the houses with signs for the GOP Senate candidate had a Romney sign.  Nada.

This is a socially conservative part of the state.  (We passed a church sign expressing opposition to the upcoming marriage equality referendum, sadly not a big surprise to me.)  These are the people who, nationwide, I would imagine Romney needs to be firmly on his side.

I don’t have any illusions that my car-view political science is all that valuable.  Perhaps I am merely confirming my own suspicions about the Romney campaign, a slow-motion train wreck in support of a candidate I detest.  Feel free to tell me you think this is all a bunch of nothing, and I’ll be hard-pressed to disagree.  But it still struck me as interesting enough to share.

Russell Saunders

Russell Saunders is the ridiculously flimsy pseudonym of a pediatrician in New England. He has a husband, three sons, daughter, cat and dog, though not in that order. He enjoys reading, running and cooking. He can be contacted at blindeddoc using his Gmail account. Twitter types can follow him @russellsaunder1.


  1. Here is reliably red Alaska ( 107% likely to go for Romney) i see very little signage for Romney. I can think of maybe 2 or 3 signs. I see about as many Obama bumper stickers as Romney bumper stickers.

  2. I see few signs or stickers for Romney around here (my county went 2/3 GOP in 2008) and see more for both Obama and (in terms of bumper stickers) McCain. Up in Redstone, I mostly just see the perennial Ron Paul signs (Redstone went 2/3 for Obama).

  3. I am in a more conservative part of the state and work with a number of fairly conservative people (if I had to ballpark it, I’d guess maybe 1/3 of my colleagues would vote Romney if they had to choose, which makes it more conservative than all of my prior workplaces though still a largely moderate or liberal place). I’ve seen one car with Romney bumper stickers in the parking lot, but this is a person who over the 2+ years I’ve been there has had a number of conservative bumper stickers in the rotation.

    I don’t know that I’ve seen any Obama stickers.

  4. I’m in a blue-ish city in the purplest state, and the only thing I’ve noticed is the *largest* lawn sign (about 6 feet high on two poles) is for Romney.

  5. I’m in Canada, but usually when a riding is expected to go a certain way but there are no signs up, it means the votes are there but the voters aren’t enthusiastic about it. When a riding is expected to go contrary to expectations, there are signs, but mostly clustered together on a street – that is, people will put up signs only if their neighbours do so they won’t stand out on their own.

  6. Who can honestly get enthused about Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan? They make Joe Biden look brilliant and that’s not an easy thing to do. People who plan on voting the Romney/Ryan ticket are carefully husbanding their energy to get to the polls before they conk out contemplating the moral exhaustion of their candidates. Here’s hoping exhaustion weakens them substantially because we’ll need to counterbalance the handicap of voter suppression. No signs is a good sign.

  7. Romney’s reached the Cusp of Cringeworthiness. Has anyone heard that wooden ha-ha-ha of his? I’ve heard elevator speech synthesisers make more authentic noises. It’s sososo bad, when your Veep can get more cheers than the guy who’s running for Prez.

  8. In our neighborhood in NC, which includes a lot of college professors and professionals (we’re near a big university and downtown), there are plenty of signs for both candidates. Although Obama signs predominate, there are a fair number of Romney signs as well. Tonight, my husband and I walked by a house that had signs for a number of Republican candidates along with a big flag and red, white, and blue bunting adorning the porch. Overkill. Other neighbors still have their “No on Amendment 8” (anti-gay marriage amendment from the previous election) displayed with their Obama poster.

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