ATLANTA – If yard signs alone don’t necessarily translate into votes, they do work to reinforce a base of support for a particular candidate.
“The influence of yard signs depends on the actual race itself,” said David Johnson, CEO of Strategic Vision and a Georgia-based senior Republican strategist. “For gubernatorial, senate, congressional and presidential races the influence is very minimal if at all.
“For lower state office or local offices where there are numerous candidates running but voters are unfamiliar with candidates, the last yard sign a voter sees may make the difference,” Johnson added. “Or if they have seen numerous campaign signs for a particular candidate and (are) unfamiliar with the other candidates the yard sign makes the difference.”
If nothing else, the distribution of yard signs indicates that a candidate has some semblance of a political organization – and is therefore a viable candidate in a race.
“Campaign signs are also considered a very visible metric of political strength and organization,” said Greg Menken, a vice president at Beckerman, an independently owned public relations firm. “It requires significant resources and volunteer infrastructure to put up thousands of signs.
“Signage can be used to intimidate candidates and to demonstrate strength to donors and political observers on the ground,” Menken added. “This is another reason why they are still in use.”