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Candidates run for office for all kinds of reasons: Foibles. Vanity.  A desire to serve.
But, whatever their reasons, after they announce they run head-on into an unpleasant fact: Running or office (even a local office like County Commissioner) costs a lot of money and raising money is plain old-fashioned hard work. It has none of the vicarious pleasures, say, of giving speeches.
And that’s where yard signs come in.
Because when a candidate decides to ignore the grind of raising money – he still wants to have a campaign. So he figures, When people see my yard signs they’ll see I have a lot of support and it’ll snowball into a bandwagon to elect me. Then he’ll spend a few hundred dollars and he’s on his way to victory.  

Of course, it doesn’t work like that. If it did Obama and Romney would be spending $50 million (in North Carolina) on yard signs and we’d be buried beneath mountains of cardboard rather than TV ads.

There’re a couple of problems with yard signs. First, they don’t say much – there’s not much message. They don’t tell where a candidate stands. Second, as they’re driving down the road most people don’t study yard signs – they don’t pick one sign out of a cluster by an intersection and think, Wow, that’s a great sign! I have got to vote for that fellow on Election Day 

That said, there is a certain amount of glory in a yard sign – if you’re a candidate it makes driving down the road a pleasure.


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4 comments on “Yard Signs

  1. dap916 says:

    I don’t know, Carter. I drove through a very large residential area in Greensboro yesterday to meet up with a friend of mine that lives there (it was an area that has a lot of successful, well-to-do citizens) and on one stretch, every Romney-Ryan sign that was put up in the yards there had a red circle with a slash through it painted on the signs. If the signs aren’t that important, why bother? What bothers me the most is that whoever painted the signs..whatever group of people…most probably bought the gasoline to go there and get that done on my taxpayer dime.

    Signs matter…trust me. Try running for office in any county as a local candidate and not putting out any campaign signs and see how you do.

  2. dberwyn says:

    Amen Carter Amen!

  3. clarence swinney says:

    Just Thinking
    Obama will increase spending 8.6% to Bush 92%-Reagan 80%–why not brag?
    1830 to 3510
    3510 to 3800
    We rank in OECD
    Inequality # 4
    Least taxed #3–Chile and Mexico lower–Percent of gdp in federal-state-local taxes
    Least tax on corporations-#2
    I ask pals how much are we taxed as percent of gdp in federal-state-local taxes
    No one ever said less than 50%
    Number is 27%
    50% got 86% individual income paid `12.5% tax rate in 2008
    Corp. paid 12.1% in 2011.

  4. lsnyder says:

    Amen Carter! I’ve never met a candidate that won who gave the reason as having a better yard sign than the opponent.

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