Adored by candidates and loathed by their campaign pros, yard signs less common this year
The inundation of campaign yard signs seems to be lighter than in past presidential election years. And it took longer for the Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton signs to start appearing.
Chalk it up to most voters disliking the major presidential nominees too much to want to boast about their choice.
Some residents of the biggest battleground region of the biggest battleground state also are wary of inflaming passions more than they already are. In this bitterly divided political climate, planting a Clinton sign can be viewed as flipping your middle finger to a neighbor with a Trump sign, and vice versa.
"The reason I haven't put out any signs or stickers is because I don't want to get my house egged or my car keyed,'' said Scott Tielemans, a Tampa Republican, explaining why he opted against planting a Trump sign in his yard.
Fellow Tampa Republican Christine Bamberger agreed: "People are so reluctant to show their hands because they don't want retribution. People are keeping their thoughts to themselves."
But here's a little secret among campaign professionals: Most of them think campaign yard signs -— especially in high profile races — are both an aggravating pain in the neck and more or less useless in terms of delivering votes.
Yet, candidates fixate on them.
"Yard signs matter — to the candidate's family members, friends and casual advisers who are constantly in the candidate's ear," quipped Republican consultant Brian Burgess of Tallahassee. "They are also one measurement of a campaign's organizational strength. Do they actually sway voters? No."