Saturday, August 30, 2008

The National (Un-Scientific) Bumper Sticker Poll

The regular T.G.I.R.F. (Thank God It's Republican Friday) feature in these pages is most probably in the process of lapsing.

I mean no disrespect. I just detect a lack of interest. However, Friday found me still idly surfing the web in a bipartisan frame of mind when Jay Bookman woke me from my reveries.The deputy editorial page editor of The Atlanta Journal Constitution is responsible for kicking me off my seat and on my feet in order to put into operation an idea that's been percolating for some time in my aging brain. Last Wednesday, Bookman seemed genuinely concerned:
..... I realized the other day that I see a lot of Obama bumper stickers and almost no McCain stickers. Now, given the part of town I live in, that's not surprising.

But I've asked conservative friends who live in more conservative parts of metro Atlanta, such as Cobb and Cherokee counties, whether they have seen McCain bumper stickers. And they both say no, they don't. Very few if any, they report. Not many yard signs either.

Bumper stickers don't decide elections. But I think they do accurately reflect the amount of enthusiasm generated by each candidate among his base, and that enthusiasm in turn helps drive voter turnout in November. The person with a bumper sticker on his car is more likely to vote, and more likely to encourage others to vote.

So I'd be curious - anybody out there seeing McCain bumper stickers?
That is the question that's been beguiling me recently. I don't know what a McCain bumper sticker looks like. I'm not curious enough to go shopping on the 'Net, of course. That's not the point.

My point of agreement with Bookman is this: sticking a candidate's name to your bumper or into your front lawn communicates commitment to vote. So?

Why not take an informal poll among my readers (all half-dozen of them) as to where McCainster bumper stickers are rearing their heads? Maybe, why not also shop the poll to other blogs where I occasionally read and write?

I am really curious as to how McCain-Palin will be playing in Des Moines. Some of my favorite bloggers like Utah Savage, Coyote Angry, Mad Mike, Carolina Parrothead, Wizard and especially Coleen Rowley (just to name the first who come to mind) don't exactly live in dark blue states. By responding to this poll, they could earn some solid street cred by documenting the fact that they reside and vote in battleground states, not to mention behind enemy lines. That would be huge and they're certainly entitled to the additional respect that is due them! No comfy, fair-weather, blue-state liberals should begrudge them their props.

So let's try to put up a poll with some
  • Statistics as to the ratio of Obama-Biden bumper-stickers to McCain-Palin stickers in your hood wherever it may be?

  • Trend indicators like what were the percentages dividing Kerry-Edwards bumpers from Bush-Cheney bumpers in 2004?
What I'm saying that such anecdotal data derived from our admittedly informal Bumper Sticker Poll might end up to be a better predictor of November 4th than the stupid, day-to-day crypto-polls stuck up on your teevees by snot-nosed network wannabe pundits.

Any takers?


  1. I’ll go first. I live on the Central Coast of California, as blue as the Pacific Ocean.

    In 2004, Kerry stickers were more evident than Bush stickers. I’d say Democrats were displaying their colors 65% to 35% for Republicans at this point in that election year.

    But this year I have say it’s 100% Democrats. I have seen absolutely no McCain stickers advertising on the highways and byways in and around my community. However, Obama bumpers can be found abundantly in every parking lot.

    Oh, I almost forgot. A neighbor still has his 2004 Bush-Cheney sticker on his truck. I don’t discuss politics with him, so I don’t know what that means.

  2. I live in NYC and I haven't seen one McCain bumper sticker. Not that I expect to but I'm just saying. I'm curious as to what they look like.

    And I appreciate the TGIRF feature :-)

  3. West L.A. and surrounding areas:

    Many Obama stickers and yard signs.
    0 McCain bumper stickers.
    1 NObama sticker at Roxbury Park in Beverly Hills, next to a big company picnic.
    Maybe Palin will get McCain's name on the road...

  4. MISSISSIPPI: Loads of Obama Yard signs, none for McCain.... yet.

    But, the Palin choice has really excited many of the downtown business people here is this tiny town. They were all going to suport McCain anyway, but there was no excitement until yesterday.

    I actually believed Obama might just win Mississippi. Now, McCain is strongly in the hunt. The key is excitement among conservatives.

    At least for Mississippi, McCain could not have made a better choice! This is not a choice of weakness, it is a choice of great strength. The Dems are clearly not reading this one correctly. And they are greatly underestimating Palin.

    When I return from my vacation (and get to a computer that works) I'll issue a report from my drive through Alabama and Mississippi.

  5. We live in Beavercreek, Ohio and we have not seen many of each, but we have seen each. I guess if I had to say which bumper sticker we have seen more, it would be McCain by a few.

    I hate where we live. In the '04 it was resoundingly Bush, but we had our yard and car littered, and we will always do so.

    We plan to go get signs today for our yard and our car.

  6. Let me clarify... our yard has always had DEMOCRATS.

    We are outnumbered where we live. We live in a conservative, big military town since we live so close to WPAFB.


  7. This being South Carolina I expected and haven't been disappointed in seeing scores of McCain and general right wing bumper stickers. The one that takes the cake right now is a play on Obama's slogan saying:
    I can't believe in.
    The damn thing took up most of the guy's tailgate on his truck and almost covered up the Confederate flag sticker.
    But the good news on this is that while Obama bumper stickers are far fewer there are more of them than Kerry stickers in 2004.

  8. Rural Nevada but husband drives in and around Las Vegas daily and averages over 200 miles on the road 4-5 days a week.

    In 2004 there were no Kerry stickers in the rurals. None, zip. All Bush-Cheney.

    This year so far we have seen a) a handful of leftover Bush-Cheney and one, yes I said one, McCain. Dozens of Obama stickers EVEN out here in the sticks though naturally many more in Las Vegas.

    Yard signs are much less common (our "yards" tend to be 5 acres or more) but we have seen a few Obama ones and no McCain's.

  9. Thanks for the responses so far! There's bad news and good news and some better than expected. It's good to know what we're up against. As the psychologist Carl Rogers used to say, "All facts are Friendly." (Unless you're part of the faith based community.)

  10. K spoke pretty well for what we've seen in the rural Ohio and its surrounding city areas (we live in the city, just a mile short of the rural area)...but everyone has a slightly different perspective, so I thought I'd add my two cents...

    Since the primaries, I have seen almost all Obama yard signs. And for that matter, I have seen almost all Obama bumper stickers. However, in the past month or so, McCain bumper stickers have become more commonplace around these parts. Though even as I say "commonplace," I do think the Obamas outnumber the McCains. But I've noticed them moreso recently.

    As far as yard signs go, I have seen numerous Obama signs (though I want to see even more), and very few McCain signs. I think, in total, we've seen 2 McCain yard signs--at the most.

    Speaking of 2 signs, we just put 2 Obama signs in our yard this morning. And once they release the Obama-Biden signs (which I hear is around October), we will probably put up 3 or 4 more. Such is the advantage of having a yard large enough to inundate passersby with the message of change.

    Our local Democratic headquarters was all out of Obama bumper stickers, which was disappointing in that I wanted some for myself, but was actually great in the grander scheme of things--too much demand for them to keep up!

    If I may advertise for Obama more still, I temporarily solved my lack of bumper sticker problem by making a donation to the Obama campaign. Since today is August 31, they are pushing to make their fundraising goal for the month of August. They are offering first-edition Obama-Biden car magnets to those who make donations of $15 or more by midnight tonight. Just for anyone interested...

  11. By the way, though mildly off-topic, I would love some responses for my essay, "The Time is Now," which is over at my blog at

    Vig was kind of enough to stop by and say a few kind words, but I would love more of you to read and respond...

  12. That reminds me, I should ask my son to bring me home an Obama bumper sticker or two (he's in CA at the moment doing a stint in a Silicone Valley outfit to complee his coursework.)

  13. I'm in Boston 'burbs. Not a ton of bumper stickers for anyone, but many many yard signs for Obama. None for McCain. Not one. But I live in a pretty liberal town. I'll have to drive over to the other ones to see what's what over there. (Yes. Liberal Massachusetts is a myth. TONS of conservatives in the Commonwealth, both social and fiscal).

  14. I live on the border of Florida and Georgia and I have seen no bumper stickers other than Bush/Cheney. In talking to the natives one word that is often mentioned when referring to Obama begins with an "N". I hate it here. Never have I been surrounded by such ignorance.

    On a more positive note I will say that the more intelligent, such as my doctor, strongly support BHO, as does my accountant (surprise) and my lawyer (a real surprise). On the campus of FSU the talk is of Obama and the word most often mentioned when referring to McCain is "OLD." Regardless I still hate it here:-)

  15. You're in deep cover, behind enemy lines, Mike! I have the deepest respect for you. You and your dogs. Now I understand!