Thursday, November 01, 2012

Yard Sign Analysis

What a difference four years makes. My neighborhood was fairly awash in political signs then, sometimes sporting both Obama AND Mitch Daniels signs on the same lawn. This year? Almost nothing. Check out this snapshot from October 13, 2008, nearly four weeks ahead of the election:

Obama sign only: 38
McCain sign only: 15
Thompson sign only: ZERO
Daniels sign only: 55
Obama & Thompson signs: ZERO
Daniels & McCain signs: 53
Obama & Daniels signs: 3
Barr signs: zero
Horning signs: zero
Weingarten: 1
Burton signs: 3

Here we are, five days ahead of the election, and following the same rankings:

Obama sign only: 2
Romney sign only: 1
Gregg sign only: 0
Pence sign only: 1
Pence & Romney signs: 2
Obama & Gregg signs: 1
Johnson signs: 2
Rupert signs: 4
Scott Reske: 1
Chard Reid: 5
Susan Brooks: 3
Andy Horning: 1
Richard Mourdock: 6
Joe Donnelly: 1

Based on this, I can only conclude the enthusiasm is very low for Republicans and Democrats. Where are all the Obama signs? Out with his failures on the economy? On the wars and civil liberties? Where are all the Romney signs? Doesn't the challenger always excite? Ok, he doesn't excite me, but this is a GOP stronghold.

What can you conclude but that that Republican enthusiasm is extremely low? I mean, it was very low for McCain, but very high for Daniels in 2008. This year? Almost nothing in Fishers for Mike Pence.

Conclude that the race for governor is a foregone conclusion, but it was also in 2008. Daniels still had the yard signs everywhere in Hamilton County. So, is it fatigue? Is it a lack of organization by the Pence team?

I could get excited about the Libertarian signs. Heck- we either beat 'em or tied 'em in every race! A guy can get excited, right? My neighborhood is moving in the right direction? Maybe I worked harder than the other parties here. I dunno.

Not entirely surprised that there are more Mourdock signs than any other Republican. That's the closest race at this point, although perhaps not since the rape comments.

My other comment of interest from 2008:
The lack of anything but Obama signs shows that the Democratic organization is still very thin here. Now, that stands to change significantly. As the Obama campaign inspires people to work in his Fishers office and to put up his yard sign, surely it will yield future candidates.

Alas, the Dems did not grow here. Their numbers in the 2010 elections were right back to old baselines despite Obama nearly winning my home precinct in 2008. There was no meaningful carryover. No additional candidates for county office in 2010, no new candidates for local office in 2011, smaller team in 2012, virtually no yard sign presence in Fishers.

My conclusion about 2008 is that Fishers has a lot more independents than most people think. They may well normally trend Republican, but in 2008 they gave Obama a shot. in my opinion, it was on the basis of, "The Republicans made a mess, let's see what you can do". If the numbers go back to baseline- from 48% in 2008 to the mid-20s in 2012, that would confirm it for me, and would say, "We gave you a chance and you did no better".

So- will these independents go back to their Republican trend, or will they say, "Ok, we gave both of those teams a chance and they failed. Gary Johnson, what can you do?"

My prediction? The Libertarian baseline rises a few points, the Dems rises one point, the Republicans shed 3-5 points.

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