Friday, October 24, 2008

An informal poll, of sorts

Florida has early voting [I'm waiting until The Day] and the lines have been long whenever I drive by this past week. The lines are never long in my precinct, and I just plain like my polling place.

So, apropos of not much, I decided to drive around a few neighborhoods and [sort of] count campaign signs.

My immediate neighborhood, mostly white, is more or less working, with small pockets of solidly middle class -- McCain/Palin signs outnumber the Obama08 signs, maybe 3:1.

My former neighborhood, approximately the same economic range but about 50/50 black/white has almost no signs, but I did see a few Obama bumper stickers.

The slightly more prosperous neighborhoods around me, solidly middle class and up to the lower tier of upper middle class, again mostly white, have more Obama08 signs, about 2:1.

The definitely ritzy-schnortzy upper middle class would-be-gated-if-it-could-be-gated neighborhood just up the street is ALL white and has ALL McCain/Palin signs.

One of the poorest neighborhoods in town, almost all black, has few signs, but none of them were for McCain.

One of the poorest neighborhoods out in the county, also mostly black, has very few signs, but none of them were for McCain either.

Lots of active-duty and retired military here, but not a lot of Veterans For McCain signs. I wonder what the place would have looked like if the Obama campaign had given out Veterans for Obama signs.

Sarah Palin stopped by here a few days ago; reportedly 10,000 people from 4 counties showed up and fell in love with her.

Lots and lots and lots of signs for local elections, which is heartening, but an awful lot of them are for Republicans, which isn't a huge surprise. This place has long been of the Blue Dog and Dixiecrat stripe, so when Newt Gingrich invited them to turn Republican, they did.


Anonymous said...

Here in Berkeley, California, I haven't seen a McCain sign... I think any Republicans around here are hiding.

Steve Bates said...

mahakal, it's been probably 20 years since I've been to Berkeley... do they still have a city ordinance that on every major street near the university, there has to be a coffee shop no less often than every 200 feet? :)

(Wow. Google tells me that The Musical Offering, where one can get two of life's essentials... coffee and recordings of early music... is still in business. Splendid!)

hipparchia said...

you'd think republicans everywhere would be hiding. their party has done a hell of a lot of damage to the country over the past 30 years or so.

i've never been to berkeley, but it's definitely on my list of places i want to visit. i've lived probably 90% of my life, maybe more, among conservatives. i always feel a bit odd whenever i find myself surrounded by liberals irl.

Carla said...

Here in my NC city, I was required to make a "donation" for Obama promotional materials. At the local campaign HQ, a sign "cost" me $8, and two bumper stickers were $3 each. I don't know whether they would've given materials otherwise. So perhaps it makes sense there would be fewer signs in low-income neighborhoods.

Unknown said...

The aristocracy has always known what side of the bread its welfare is buttered on.

hipparchia said...

zing! good one, nick.

hipparchia said...

carla, you might be interested in this article. an excerpt --

Like other candidates, he has worked hard to cultivate a network of bundlers, who can solicit the checks from individual donors for the legal maximum of $2,300 that are the mainstay of any major campaign. But to capitalize on his celebrity, Mr. Obama’s campaign has also employed novel tactics — like counting sales of $5 speech tickets or $4.50 Obama key chains as individual contributions — to pump up his numbers and transform grass-roots enthusiasm into more useful forms of support. No other campaign is known to have listed paraphernalia sales as donations.

The combination has enabled Mr. Obama to raise more money for his primary campaign in the first six months of the year — $58.4 million — than any other candidate in either party. Just as important, his campaign advisers say, he has built a unique roster of small donors who may give again or volunteer as the race continues, and which enables them to portray his campaign as powered by a vast army of regular people across the country.

hipparchia said...

ps. carla, i think you're probably right about the reason for so few signs in lower-income neighborhoods.

Archaeopteryx said...

Here's why the yard sign poll doesn't work well:

hipparchia said...

mostly what i found interesting was the distribution by socioeconomic class, rather than which candidate had more overall [this is a very red part of florida, just call us alabama for political purposes; republican signs are always going to outnumber democrat signs here]. registered voters in my area are about 90% white and 35% democrat.