Friday, October 02, 2020

Signs

When we went through the Upper Valley, the Hanover-Dartmouth area, the signs were all for Democrats.  Correction, there were many Black Lives Matter and Rainbow-lists-on-black-backgrounds as well.  Some people had multiple signs, some had only one.  Single signs might be one of the statement signs, a Biden-Harris, or one of the local races.  I did not recognise most of those.  As we went north, an occasional Sununu (Republican governor) sign mixed in, then some Trump signs. Rarely did those have an entire yardful, though that did happen. Either of those might be very large, and large Biden signs were more common there than I have seen down here.

By the time we reached Orford they were running 2-1 Biden, and by Haverhill, Woodsville, and Bath it looked about 50-50. Up into Monroe things were trending more to Trump, but still the pattern as before: while there were some multi-sign Republican yards, if I saw a collection ahead it was more likely to be Democrat.  Since coming home I have noticed the same thing around here.  Republicans have 1-3 signs, Democrats 2-12.  I do not have an explanation. Both will fill up common areas near rotaries or at important intersections, but in their own yards, there is a different preference. I am not going to make up an idea why this would be.

Littleton was mostly Trump, as were Monroe and Lancaster.  Dalton and anything north of Lancaster was predominantly Trump signs.  I had seen hand-lettered Trump signs before, but saw a few hand-lettered Biden ones for the first time.  By the time we hit Pittsburg it was all Trump signs and lots of them, big and prominent, even lit up at night.  It was only the big races, too, President and Governor.  I didn't notice too many for Executive Council or the houses of the state legislature. If a yard was full it was full of a dozen Trump signs.

Arthur C. Brooks wondered in the college town where he was a professor why people were so aggressive in their political signs in a place where everyone agreed with them. It spurred him to do his original research for the book Who Really Cares, which I reviewed in 2006. I wondered that too, while driving in very-white Hanover and seeing all the Black Lives Matter signs.  Why do they have to announce this to each other?  I have dark suspicions, but that may just be my own prejudices speaking.

And thus the same question in Pittsburg.  If everyone is for Trump, why make such a deal about it with big signs?  Ah, but there is a difference here.  The tourism industry dominates the North Country, and that is doubly so in that last large bit of acreage when NH rises higher than Vermont.  It isn't only locals who will see this, but folks from farther south, including places where Democrats are thicker on the ground. These are all family-owned businesses, right on the few main roads, renting cabins, operating general stores, doing Ski-Doo repairs, but even some of those had the signs out, even though it might offend some potential customers in a tough year.

8 comments:

Donna B. said...

I think one of the best things that HOAs enforce is "NO SIGNS". That said, only two residents in my neighborhood (who well knew their signs were in violation) put up signs -- both for Democrats.

Whichever candidate or party you vote for is fine with me, but just like your sexual preferences, I really don't want you to tell me about it.

Sam L. said...

In my rural area,I see nearly all TRUMP signs, and only 2 Biden-Harris signs, but they are BIGGER. I think they're on two fields of one owner.

GraniteDad said...

Only having signs for the president and governor does seem more like peacocking to me. It also highlights what I don’t like about our overall focus too much on the executive. But that’s a losing battle I know.

Dan Kurt said...

Here in the Phoenix Valley at an intersection, a quite busy one, one block from I-10 in Chandler, AZ, a large Trump sign lasted less than a day. My wife I while driving through the intersection saw the Trump sign being raised. People were tooting their horns in approval, including us, as they drove by. Not 24 hours later the (presumed) Democrats had razed the Trump sign.

Dan Kurt

Tim said...

Here in Hampton Roads I've seen plenty of Trump signs and flags. Nothing for Biden. but then there are some areas I just don't visit.

GraniteDad said...

Also, with Republicans I see more abundant Trump flags vs Democrats it’s more BLM or the rainbow commentary flags. I’m not seeing Biden flags, which makes sense to me.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

@ Tim - that's the area I went to college in. I saw Linda Ronstadt open for Neil Young at Hampton Coliseum in 1973. Was it called Hampton Roads Coliseum then?

Tom Bridgeland said...

Similar here in rural Illinois. Few signs total, many more Trump than Biden, but I have noticed flocks of down-race signs in the Biden yards.