ATLANTA – They appear every election season – in front yards, on street corners and in abandoned lots: campaign signs.
They’re an important and ever-present part of campaigns for local, state and federal offices. But what role, if any, do they play in helping elect candidates?
“While yards signs are important in promoting name recognition, they don’t win elections,” said Donald Miller, vice president of public relations at Rockville Centre, N.Y. -based Harrison Leifer DiMarco.
“A lot of campaigns use yard signs to indicate support even if the support is not there,” said David Johnson, CEO of Strategic Vision and a Georgia-based senior Republican strategist. “By displaying numerous campaign signs they can psych an opponent out into believing there is more support than exists. Campaign signs are more than anything to build name (identification).”
While many experts agree that yard signs alone aren’t likely to cause voters to cast ballots for a particular candidate – especially in national elections – they do play a larger role in local elections.
“In smaller communities, people pay attention to whose yards sport which signs,” said Shel Horowitz, a marketing consultant who has worked on several political campaigns. “If someone whose politics are similar to yours supports a candidate, it means more.”