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Richard Crowson Commentary

Crowson: Do Yard Signs Provide the Tipping Point?


I have never truly understood political yard signs. Although I participate in this good ol’ American tradition, I’m not sure why. Political scientists tell us they make a miniscule difference, if any at all.

After all, what sort of person is influenced by yard signs? Are there really voters out there who are undecided until that one yard sign becomes their political tipping point?

“Golly, Myrtle, I ain’t got the slightest idea who to cast my ballot for…wait! Look! A yard sign! It says we should vote for Fred Snickerdoodle! By gosh, that’s a good idea! I’m voting for Fred Snickerdoodle!”

In many cases I just want to avert my eyes when I come to a neighbor’s yard with political signs in it. People I like, people I share my neighborhood with, have yard signs urging the election of monstrous creatures who oppose everything I believe in.

That sweet lady with the roses lining her driveway, has a yard sign supporting Steve Curdlemilk. Steve Curdlemilk is an advocate for confiscation of all banjos. That means the sweet lady with the roses is telling folks to vote against something I deeply believe in. It’s hard to get over things like that.

And then there are the neighbors whose yard signs are reliable indicators of which candidates I should vote against. If a sign for Sally Schmooze goes up in that particular yard, I know it’s a safe bet Sally Schmooze is a wide-eyed extremist.

Oh, well. In the yin-yang of the yard sign universe, I’m probably that neighbor for somebody else.