My Personal Subjective Survey

[This post late, it was lost to and retrieved from the “cloud”. Also, were we at cyberwar on Friday? WTF?!?]

“Who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?” Groucho Marx, Duck Soup, 1933.

“Who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?” Groucho Marx, Duck Soup, 1933.

I recently drove from nowhere to nowhere in a “blue state”. Well; that’s not entirely true because there are no “blue states”. There are only “blue cities”. When, as is common, blue cities steamroll the red remainder of the state we call it a “blue state”.

My itinerary would take me from what I like to call “free territory” (a comfortable rural redoubt), through what I think of as “occupied territory” (an urban area sufficiently large that I’d fuel up and get the hell out pronto lest I get trapped in traffic or be forced to listen to rap), to a final destination that was “suburban” (infested with malls, trendy people, and tight parking).

To pass the time I started counting Trump and Hillary signs. What would the ratio of the two be? Based on polling it should be close to 50/50 with a slight edge to Hillary. Math failed me because there were no Hillary signs. You can’t divide by zero. I wish I’d grabbed a paper and pen to count the Trump signs. I lost count of the Trump signs after a few dozen. By that time, I was maybe 40 miles into my trip. I guessed from 1 – 3 Trump signs per mile in fairly uninhabited nowhere.

As often happens, the radio had nothing but crap. The scan feature headed for the strongest signal and I was delivered to the clutches of America’s Pravda (NPR). Is there anywhere in America left without a strong Federal propaganda FM broadcast?

“Trump is toast! Thirty years ago he said some stupid shit. It’s unacceptable.” The announcers (whom we would formerly call journalists) were engaged in a round-robin discussion. Each was eager to prove they were the most convinced of Trump’s doom in the group.

I was aware there was some sort of kerfuffle but hadn’t paid attention. It seemed minor to me. A billionaire can get laid without “dating”, “courting”, or even “civility”? No shit. It seems a main perk to being filthy rich. Does it surprise you? That Trump bragged about it is believable. When is Trump not bragging? That he was crude? Um… I’m running out of ways to say ‘not surprised’. Meanwhile the party that created “getting a Monica” as a euphemism was play acting their temporary role as preening moralizers. Raise your hand if you haven’t seen that show before. Provided it isn’t a Clinton or a Kennedy they’ll act shocked that tawdry sex exists. When it’s Clinton or a Kennedy it’s a private matter between the man and an intern or Marilyn Monroe. What’s new? Plus, NPR has been predicting Trump’s demise daily for a year so maybe they do it reflexively? Then again Scott Adams seems to have thrown in the towel. Adams seems to know which way the wind is blowing and I wouldn’t know the zeitgeist if it bit me on the ass.

But what gives with the absence of signs?

While the radio babbled, I passed another bevy of Trump signs. The Trump count was somewhere around four or five dozen. I hadn’t seen a single Hillary sign.

Finally, 65 miles into my trip, I passed the first Hillary sign! I jotted a note of this remarkable observation on an old gas receipt.

What does it mean when I can drive 65 miles to see the first Hillary sign? What does it mean that I passed enough Trump signs that I lost count? What does it mean when Trump signs are outnumbering Hillary maybe 40 or 50 to 1? How does that comport with NPR congratulating itself over its most recent prediction of Trump’s demise? The most charitable explanation I conjured is that rural areas are politically irrelevant?

I kept driving. At 100 miles into my trip I’d witnessed only that one single Hillary sign. Baffling! This close to an election I ought to see signs for everyone from both parties and half-dozen bumper stickers supporting lunatics like Sasquatch or Bern (even if he isn’t in the race anymore).

Maybe I’d misheard NPR? I clicked on the radio it and was immediately assaulted:

“New polls show that Trump is utterly doomed. There is no reason to have a vote. All hail Hillary!”

I clicked off the radio and kept driving. When I’d driven 175 miles I still had only seen the one Hillary sign but I was approaching an urban area; Hillary’s natural habitat.

If there was any sort of rationality in the world I would see dozens and dozens (perhaps thousands) of Hillary signs in the land of her true faithful supporters. It was getting dark but I peered into the gloom. I was desperate to see something that would reconcile the propaganda on my radio with the real world where I was driving. I passed a plain blue billboard that supported the Democratic Party (no sign of Hillary). Was that it? Later I passed a Trump billboard, no sign of his party affiliation. The Hillary edge that would reconcile the polls remained invisible.

With my transition from rural to urban the steady stream of Trump signs petered out but there was no countervailing growth in Hillary’s count of… one. I formulated a new theory. Maybe rural folks will stand and be counted while urban folks can’t or won’t publicly declare their affiliation?

(In the interest of full disclosure I have only one political sign on my yard, an American Flag. That’s the only sign I need. A politician who wants advertising space on my yard can either rake my leaves in payment or kiss my ass and take their sign down the road.)

Another theory; perhaps urban people are so highly regulated they cannot put up a yard sign. Maybe homeowners associations are that brutal? A logical stretch that could make NPR’s poll data match my observation would be many millions of Hillary voters who live with a HOA that’ll firebomb you if you put up a yard sign

Seriously folks, I’m not sure what’s up and am open to ideas. I was in a state that will likely go to Hillary and would have maybe gone to Bernie Sanders and might possibly vote for Trotsky if you exhumed the body and had a couple of college professors wheel it around. If the urban/state vote is sure to be hers why am I not seeing evidence of it?

I drove straight through the heart of a very large city and there was no indication an election was afoot. I crossed a state line; theoretically moving from a “blue state” to an “even bluer state”. In suburbs six miles over the state line I saw my second Hillary sign. Plus, the usual herd of Trump signs. I had now traveled 285 miles and counted two Hillary signs. At 325 miles, I counted the third Hillary sign.

It was a 400 mile trip, there were scads of Trump signs most of the way and I had seen three Hillary signs total. During 8 hours on the road no FM station mentioned the election except NPR. I checked them every half hour and roughly 50% of the time they were announcing Hillary’s coronation. (The other 50% was a smattering of concepts; how awesome it is to be gay, the story of some dude’s script writing, an interview with a young woman in Syria, and something vague about religious comic books. Jesus in a comic book? I must have missed something.)

I’ve grown used to the press telling me things that are contrary to what I observe. Within reason, I chalk it up to living in the hinterland. If everyone in my county all died in a meteor strike statistically it wouldn’t matter. Conversely, just because I don’t care who uses which shitter at Target doesn’t mean RuPaul’s urinal options isn’t riveting to folks from Chicago or Miami or whatever.)

But surely a 400 mile transect should unearth some level of objective truth? I just drove 400 miles and saw only three signs for the Democratic candidate who, we are told, is polling well. What gives?

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About Adaptive Curmudgeon

I will neither confirm nor deny that I actually exist.
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35 Responses to My Personal Subjective Survey

  1. Another jim says:

    You might want to see
    Boom! National Poll: Trump Leading 67% To Hillary’s 19% Of 50,000 Voters

    I guess we will have to wait and see.

    • Holy theatrics! On the one hand I can’t say I disagreed with the script. It mirrored my opinions and observations. On the other I can’t bring myself to accept V talking in front of the Matrix.

      I’m pretty creeped out that my personal observations, as a redneck driving a Dodge, mirrors a hacker outfit that acts like Batman. When I interact with people do they picture that video? No wonder Thanksgiving dinner is so weird.

  2. It’s because all the dead voters don’t need signs.

  3. Dedicating Ruckus says:

    One consideration, which cannot be ignored, is that the media do actively use polls as propaganda, and so manipulate them in multifarious ways to produce measurements that confirm their narrative. Of such tactics, I think, spring the various polls that show Hillary at +11 or +12 percentage points.

    An “honest” poll, meanwhile, will now probably show anywhere from a dead heat to Trump +1 or +2. But all observations this election have shown that Trump drives voter enthusiasm far more than does Hillary. (Consider attendance at his rallies vs. hers, for example.) The typical Trump voter is voting for Trump, himself, and likely much enthused about what he himself has said; the typical Hillary voter is voting for A Democrat, or else Not Trump. The only demographic I have seen show any actual enthusiasm for Hillary is big-city professional journalists.

  4. Judy says:

    The Emperor (the press) lives in the same La-La land as Crooked Canckles and the Wachos in Hollyweird, which is the same place that Pajama Boy Educator and his female counterpart lives. Pollsters are only talking to the aforementioned people. Working stiffs refuse to talk to anyone because they got bills to pay and don’t want to lose their jobs, just in case they say something that might be deemed at some point in the future politically incorrect. Welcome to Stalin’s Russia.

  5. acairfearann says:

    Good question. Trump signs solidly outnumber Hillary signs here too. In Suburban Connecticut!!

    • Connecticut?!? You’re shitting me! I presume Connecticut would vote Dem no matter who runs. That seems like a verification of what I say while driving through [redacted] and [redacted] (both states so blue they’d vote for Stalin’s reanimated corpse with Benito Mussolini as vice president).

    • I live in northern california. There are a FEW Hillary signs, but the trump signs are all over the place. Then again, I am in a bastion area.

  6. Easily Amused says:

    Maybe the pollsters never leave the DC Merro? I’d say about 10% of the houses have Clinton signs… a little selective polling and boom a land slide for Hillary. The only thing that really matters is the vote. MAGA

  7. Dan says:

    How many signs your supporters post, how you do in the polls, who you run against……all of that is irrelevant if you have succeeded in suborning the process. As Stalin said, ‘it’s not who votes that matters, it’s who counts the votes that matters’. The computerized voting process has been hacked and taken over by the DNC. In 16 states the machines are provided by a company run by a
    a man who is a confidant and employee of George Soros. In Illinois a couple days ago a GOP State Rep decided to vote early. He reported that EVERY TIME he tried to vote for a GOP selection he watched the machine change his vote so it recorded as a vote for the Dem candidate.

    So what we see, hear, believe…what is reality is IRRELEVANT. The winner of the November 8 election was programmed into the machines MONTHS AGO.

  8. Mark Matis says:

    Those who cast the votes decide nothing.
    Those who count the votes decide everything.

    The vote counting in this country is done by Democrats. And by Rove Republicans. Do you STILL not understand???

  9. abnormalist says:

    You want the truth… well, you can probably handle the truth…

    dump is a repugnant human being. Yes, even worse than shillary…

    The truth is, very few people really LIKE shillary. Most people really DIS like her, but they dislike her LESS than dump… As such, while they wont advertise for her, but they will vote for her out of fear of him.

    I’m willing to bet you home raised bacon to homebrew (pound for pound) that she wins, and its NOT by a small electoral margin. Any takers?

    • I’ll concede what you wrote; I’ve slowly accepted that Hillary might win and calling Trump repulsive is shooting fish in a barrel.

      But that doesn’t address my point. If Hillary is likely to win (which is quite possible and virtually certain where I was driving) why am I seeing virtually no support for her?

      I’ve never witnessed an election where one party’s candidate is more or less invisible… much less where one is invisible and wins. If Hillary wins based on 3 yard signs in 400 miles it’s telling us something.

      Other people have talked about Trump filling 5,000 person stadiums while Hillary barely coaxes 600-700 people in a high school gymnasium. Or how Hillary (as a person) vanishes for a few days at a time each week while Trump is always present. Obama never slacked off making appearances, nor did the Bushes, the other Clinton, etc… I recall Reagan getting rare in the last of his 8 years in office but while campaigning he was out in the public every day.

      I can’t say I’ve ever seen a major party contender in my life that had no yard signs and couldn’t draw a crowd. How can that work out? It’s worthwhile to figure it out.

  10. Ruth says:

    I’m in Upstate NY. The urban/rural divide is real, and I see it here. And yet, you’re right, there’s still more Trump signs than Hillary signs (though if you don’t look close, you might mistake a “Hillary for Prison” sign for something else). I think the Trump sign (and flag, and homemade billboard, all of which I’ve seen here) folks are feeling pretty damn defiant. And have decided to waive their political leanings in the face of their “neighbors” at all costs. I’m seeing Trump signs on properties where I’ve NEVER seen a political sign at all before.

  11. frank says:

    Here in northeast PA we’ve noticed the same thing. Lots of trump signs and very few for Hillary.

    • Another commenter mentioned Connecticut. This has got to be a national trend.

      • Grey Mobius says:

        My neck of the woods in the South Hills of Pittsburgh I’m seeing the same thing. Literally hundreds of Trump/ Pence signs and to date only 19 Hillary signs. I’m not counting multiples in a yard just that yard/ property is for Trump or for the Dark Side. I’m seeing most of the Hillary signs pop up in the last week unlike the Trump signs being displayed for weeks and months. It’s almost that people are embarrassed to display Hillary signs and be thought of as stupid by their neighbors or are afraid conservatives will tear down their signs. [usually the reverse is true].

  12. Jason says:

    Check the latest blog from Scott Adams. He’s changed his mind again.

    • Very interesting. It’s a good sign for Trump. Adams’ predictions during the primaries were spot on. (Every “journalist” who spent a year incorrectly predicting Trump’s demise should be smacked with a stuffed Dilbert doll.)

      That said Adam’s latest post boils down to “Clinton has inflicted evil one time too many and I support Trump because that shit ‘aint right” followed by “Trump is back on track for a landslide”. I’m not sure how A leads to B. Usually Adams constructs more clearly logical arguments.

      I suppose it makes sense if Adams is postulating his breaking point is about the same as everyone else’s? Is it? I have no idea. On the other hand a pissed off cartoonist and a redneck who drives all day but sees only three Hillary signs are at least correlated observations (if not airtight logic). Both hint that polls showing a Hillary lead are not reflecting the real situation. In fact they hint that the press is “extremely not reflecting reality”. (An awkward phrase but what are ya’ gonna’ do?)

      Unlike Adams I made my decision long ago. For better or worse I’ll vote for Trump. Right at the start I decided I would not endure nepotism or communism (or progressiveism or socialism or whatever euphemism pinkos are using this year) this ruled out Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders on day one.

      Also I believe deeply in fair competition. Trump emerged from Thunderdome (which was stacked against him) with Ted Cruze’s head on a stick. That was good enough for me. I liked Scott Walker but he was toast right away. Ted Cruze would have been awesome but he lost hard too. Sorry Ted, thank you for playing and better luck next time, also get the hell out of the way because the playoffs just started and you didn’t make the cut. Go sit on the bleachers with the other non-participants. This is where I part way with #nevertrump “Republicans”. They indicate, to me, a specific brand of unease with actual competition/democracy. They compare Trump (who is an option in real life) with their imaginary perfect (but non-existent) candidate and that’s bullshit. I’m not a party member but I do make my choices among those available on earth. I want a flying car but I bought a Dodge. #NeverTrump Republicans need to either bail on their party (which is an honorable choice) or support the winner chosen by their party (which is also honorable). Pining for unicorns is just dumb.

  13. You should drive past a graveyard or a funeral parlor. I am told many Hillary voters are found at those locations. If you don’t see any signs at either of those places then Hillary will surely lose.

  14. Stephen Scheiwe says:

    I live in a tourist area, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, the Smokies, with lots of visitors from the Great Lakes states, Virginia and the Carolinas, GA and AL, and oddly to me, Mississippi and Louisiana. In the three election cycles before this there were plenty, maybe even a majority of Kerry and Obama stickers. In in my rural neighborhood there were Obama signs. This year there is nothing for Hillary. We see plenty of Hillary bumper stickers. All but two said Hillary for prison. In view of the polls I’m not sure what this means.

    • If you don’t mind me asking, are there any Trump signs? Is it very few of either candidate or Trump outnumbering Hillary a lot?

      This is fascinating, I’ve heard from you, northeast PA, upstate (rural) NY, suburban Connecticut, and San Fransisco. The thing I was seeing in [redacted] wasn’t a local phenomena.

  15. Machiavelli says:

    I’d believe the answer is simple: Would you be proud to support Hillary?

    One boggles at the amount of mental gymnastics it must take to justify that support; making a public decree of self-delusion might be one step too far.

  16. Sally says:

    I live in SAN FRANCISCO and I’ve only seen 2 Hillary signs (in apt windows), 1 Hillary bumper sticker, and about 4 or 5 Bernie signs. No Trump support, but like you said, hardly any signs of there being an election going on here at all! Little to no support for Hillary in the most liberal of all US cities. She had an event here a few weeks ago, with no publicity before OR after. I ended up hearing about the event from the British Daily Mail!

    • San Francisco? Only two signs for Hillary?

      Good grief I’d expect the ghost of Elvis to garner half a dozen signs. What’s going on?

      I do get the lack of Trump signs. That makes sense. It’s San Francisco after all.

  17. Cyber “Attacks” Which Crippled US Internet, Came (mostly) from INSIDE the USA; specifically a US AFB in KS ,,,from a computer intel division.
    HMMMMMMM
    leaperman

  18. I live in Tuolumne county California. (Home of Yosemite). This is next to Oakdale and Modesto.
    Hillary signs? (a few).
    Trump signs? All over the place.

  19. Jesse Bogan says:

    I live in DC. I have to use the “bumper sticker” adjustment.. I have seen maybe 2 dozen Hitlery stickers in the entire election season. The old Obama/Biden stickers FAR outnumber them. I have only seen a couple Trump stickers… People I know are afraid to put up Trump signs or bumper stickers due to the possibility of vandalisim. And NPR bites big time..

  20. Steve says:

    I’d postulate two things:
    1) The polls are an attempt to convince Trump supporters to say home, because “it’s already in the bag.”
    2) When Hillary wins via election fraud (it matters who counts the votes), the polls support the win because, see, the polls said she was ahead, and the vote confirmed it.

    The signs reflect peoples’ opinions, but unfortunately, they don’t count at the ballot box.

  21. Pingback: More Subjective Surveying | Adaptive Curmudgeon

  22. Mike_C says:

    Okay, one more totally unscientific datapoint from SE Michigan. Drove from downtown Detroit along the river (Jefferson Ave) and parts of Lake St Clair. Few signs in Detroit; this may have to do with the general decrepitude of many buildings in Detroit. Or not. The various Grosse Points (a string of wealthy* communities just east of Detroit) were about 40% Trump/Pence, 60% Clinton/Kaine (HK, because you suck, and we hate you). The adjacent but considerably more working class towns of St Clair Shores and Mt. Clemens were about 70% Trump, 30% Clinton. Ann Arbor, MI was almost 100% Clinton within city limits, but adjacent smaller communities were let’s call it 51% Trump. Most communities the proportion of signs for local elections and issues vs presidential was much higher than I remember from years past.

    *wealthy Clintonistas. IIRC, the Wall Street Journal reports that of over-one-million-dollar donors, it’s 83% Clinton, 17% Trump. Monoparty of Cloud People versus the rest of us scum indeed.

    >Would you be proud to support Hillary?
    That may play a role. A number of friends and acquaintances who normally vote straight Democrat are sitting this one out. They loathe The Donald, but also can’t bring themselves to vote for HRC.

  23. Ken says:

    We drove from MO, through KS, to Denver, down to CO Springs, across southern CO and Utah, over to Las Vegas, and back this summer – hundreds of Trump signs, only a handful of Hillary signs or bumperstickers. About a month ago we flew into Punta Gorda, FL and drove a rental around that area to include Port Charlotte and North Port and Sarasota. I counted 3 Hillary signs over the 4 days we were there, with dozens and dozens of Trump signs. Just FYI.

  24. Pingback: Propaganda Sucks Even When You Know It’s Propaganda: Part 1 | Adaptive Curmudgeon

  25. Pingback: Propaganda Sucks Even When You Know It’s Propaganda: Final Post | Adaptive Curmudgeon

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