Is Your Sign Talking to Me?

The candidate yard sign has been a staple of campaigns for decades -- but voters' motivations for posting them remain little understood.

yardsigns.banner.reuters.jpg
Reuters

With a bit less than three weeks to go before the election, let's pause to think about a little-discussed element of today's high-tech campaigns. Consider the humble campaign yard sign. Is there a more retro and prosaic feature of American electoral politics?

One day, as our dog and I walked along a low-volume-traffic street in Newton, Massachusetts, I saw a "Scott Brown for Senate" sign that hadn't been there the day before. Within a week, the same block had two "Elizabeth Warren for Senate" signs pop up on neighbors' lawns. Then, in rapid succession, a couple more signs for Brown showed up.

Presented by

John Tierney is a contributing writer for The Atlantic and a former professor of American government at Boston College. He is the author of Organized Interests and American Democracy (with Kay L. Schlozman) and The U.S. Postal Service: Status and Prospects of a Government Enterprise.

The Blacksmith: A Short Film About Art Forged From Metal

"I'm exploiting the maximum of what you can ask a piece of metal to do."

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

Video

An Ingenious 360-Degree Time-Lapse

Watch the world become a cartoonishly small playground

Video

The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."

Video

The Rise of the Cat Tattoo

How a Brooklyn tattoo artist popularized the "cattoo"

More in Politics

From This Author

Just In