More Subjective Surveying

The news reports Hillary steadily gaining and Trump dying in a fire. I just drove 400 miles and saw only three Hillary yard signs amid perhaps a couple hundred Trump signs. (I lost count of Trump signs, a loss to science.) Two opposite indicators.

Which is true; the polls/media or the signs I counted? Lets face it, nobody knows. If you think you know that’s not the same as actually knowing.

My best guess is that both are unreliable. Everyone knows polls reported by the press are commissioned by the press to say what the press wants. Everyone knows someone who would put up a Trump sign but doesn’t want to get vandalized or shit on at the workplace. Possibly poorer Hillary voters can’t muster a yard and richer ones quietly cut a check and keep the lawn clear? I’m starting to wonder if political yard signs are a quaint anachronism; like newspapers with news, kids with lemonade stands, and social comity.

We’ll all know on November 8th… or depending on the level of grift and cheat maybe a few weeks later. (Call the possible delay a “Gore extension factor”.)

However I have more (inconclusive but interesting) observations. I got comments from several locations. If it’s your comment please forgive me for oversimplifying:

  • California (San Francisco): Very very few Hillary signs. No trump signs.
  • Tennessee (Gatlinburg): Trump signs outnumber Hillary signs by a large ratio.
  • Connecticut (Suburban): Trump signs outnumber Hillary signs by a large ratio.
  • New York (Upstate i.e. rural): Trump signs outnumber Hillary signs by a large ratio.
  • Pennsylvania (northeast): Trump signs outnumber Hillary signs by a large ratio.
  • California (Tuolume County, northern): Trump signs outnumber Hillary signs by a large ratio.

And my favorite observation so far (because I love humorous outcomes):

  • Washington D.C.: No signs. About 2 dozen Hillary bumper stickers, no Trump. Old Obama/Biden stickers outnumber current Hillary/Kaine stickers! (That’s hilarious!)

Online and in person I’ve heard several people refer to the risk of vandalism. As in “folks are afraid to put a Trump bumper sticker on their car for fear of vandalization”. This is not from one source but several. I’ve never heard anyone anywhere afraid of a dastardly evil Republican keying their car but the concern that a true believer from the left might cause damage is widespread (and in my opinion supported by the evidence). In this vein I have one observation:

  • In a tiny little town in the middle of nowhere near where I live, a bunch of Trump signs popped up shortly after Labor Day. Many were the big “sheet of plywood” size. No Hillary signs (large or small) appeared. A few days later one of the Trump signs (only one of many) was vandalized. Some dipshit spray painted a big “NO” across it. I infer two things from this:
    • There are some voters willing to vandalize a sign but not just stick one in their yard (assuming they have a yard).
    • People who play that game in rural America are either brave or stupid! I don’t live in the balless suburbs. Ever notice that rural folks just don’t do riots? That’s because a riot needs a herd thinking alike and a cowed populace or weak law enforcement to let the spark grow. Rural folks aren’t angels but they don’t put up with shit either. Out here folks will park a skidder, three trucks, a bassboat, and a Skidoo in their yard without locking anything… because they’re fully prepared to kick your ass if you try to offski with the boat. Vandalism here is more risky than tagging a WalMart in Detroit. What kind of nutcase would risk an ass full of buckshot to dink around with a stranger’s election sigh? Good grief!

In other observations Maggie’s Farm offers a story about their encounter with a pollster:

She pushed a garish pamphlet in my hand. She called me by name, which I found very mildly unpleasant. “Have you made up your mind to vote for so-and-so?” I looked at the circular while I wondered about the parsing of the sentence I just heard. It sounded like someone who had rehearsed the wrong line for a play, and delivered a joke during a death scene.

“No,” I said. That’s all I said.

“Great, I’ll put you down as undecided.”

I had answered the question put to me truthfully. I had not yet made up my mind to vote for so and so. If he was on fire, I wouldn’t piss on him, and if he died, my wife would attend his funeral in a red dress, but no, we had not yet made up our minds to vote for him.

There’s everything you need to know about polls.


It also occurs to me that I used to have similar experiences but I put an end to that. My compound home is irrelevant Federally but the county is so sparse that every vote really counts in certain State/Local elections. In the past I’ve had several people per shitstorm election cycle come to my house. Not pollsters but campaigners and occasionally the actual candidates. (Quaint no?)

I harassed them all mercilessly. Including a guy who is (I think) now my sheriff. He kinda’ rubbed me the wrong way so I told him to fuck off and never come back. I wonder if he remembers me? I haven’t seen a physical campaigner for a few years now. There must be a list somewhere that says “stay away from these houses”.

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About Adaptive Curmudgeon

I will neither confirm nor deny that I actually exist.
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12 Responses to More Subjective Surveying

  1. Jeff Orwick says:

    For what its worth – Northern Colorado – Trump signs only. I have seen no Hilary signs or bumper stickers – even on a recent drive through Boulder County (but NOT into boulder itself) and including a house that boasted a 8 foot high Kerry sign for years after that election. I have seen remnant Obama and Bernie bumper stickers- but not many.

  2. My friend Dan put himself down as undecided. It magically changed his registration to democrat. He was pissed, to say the least.
    Don’t EVER use undecided or leave a box empty….EVER.
    leaperman

  3. Samrobb says:

    Pennsylvania, north of Pittsburgh (Allegheny/Armstrong counties). Not only do Trump signs vastly outnumber Hillary signs, the “Hillary For Prison” signs outnumber *actual* Hillary signs.

  4. M says:

    Another Pennsylvanian here…Pocono region, and way too close to the People’s Republic of NJ. LARGE number of Trump signs (and billboards!), nothing on Hillary except numerous “Lock Her Up” signage.

  5. John Matus says:

    If you want to see why a lot of Americans feel disenfranchised. Google up a map of the 2012 results by county. Also, Obama’s crushing defeat of Romney(as told by the media) was by 5 million votes out of 135 million total. What’s that? 4%? Of the popular vote. I’d like to see electoral votes awarded by congressional district, no more of this winner takes all crap. At the very least it should make the politicians work harder.

    • The rural/urban split is a bad as anything I’ve lived through and it’s getting almost silly now. Of course it’s been that way for a while. Aside from a break during the great depression it has been slowly degrading since a peak around the time of President Jefferson. Both sides know it’s heading for Panem’s Capital lording over peasants.

      Congressional districts versus states is a nice idea but won’t solve anything. Where there is money seized and allocated by those who didn’t earn it there’s a natural proclivity toward graft. Switch from states to districts and you’ve just created a new playing field for the same game. Gerrymandering is just the first level. At some point, unless there is a shared culture and atmosphere of trust and respect, a zillion in the city will steamroll the dozen in the hinterlands. Math can’t solve two tribes who hate each other.

      Sometimes I’d like to see votes awarded in the spirit of “the first two thousand people in the Boston telephone directory” voluntarily tossed into Thunderdome. Would it be worse?

  6. Cody says:

    Between Touchet, Washington and Milton – Freewater, Oregon there are scores of Trump posters. Yard signs, bumper stickers, 8 foot banners on haystacks galore – and no Clinton signs to be seen that aren’t Hillary for Prison bumper stickers!

  7. Matt says:

    I drove from Salt Lake City to Seattle a few weeks ago, and was shocked by the number of Trump signs in and around Seattle proper. I’d expect it from rural Washington and Oregon, but not the hipster paradise that is Seattle city. I saw more Hillary signs in UTAH than Idaho, Oregon, and Washington combined, and after all the Trump signs, I was looking pretty hard.

    Weird.

  8. weredragon says:

    South Jersey here, I do 500+ miles a week, multiple destinations all in SJ, Trump signs everywhere. I hadn’t seen any Hilliary signs until this week when I drove by several union halls, all displaying Hilliary signs. Finally saw one on a normal house yesterday, less then a mile from me, it just went up in the last two days.

  9. Mark Matis says:

    You obviously misunderstand the situation, AC. After all, they simply do not allow political signage in cemeteries.

  10. colburg says:

    I’m from Southeastern NM and there have been a few Trump signs, but not much else. Then 2 days ago, Hillary signs have popped up everywhere vastly outnumbering Trump signs. It’s conflicting in this area though. About 90% Hispanics in the nearest town, but very little welfare. Jobs are plentiful because of the mines and oilfield. Even after years of working and paying taxes, “minorities” voted for Obama because they were going to get a check from Obama because they’re minorities, while making $60,000/yr. Now they’ll vote for Clinton…..because she cares for minorities more than Trump.

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

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