After the much talked about polling results from Critical Insight showed that Les Otten enjoys twice the voter recognition, or voter ID, of the next most known candidate, Peter Mills, I started thinking about lawn signs.
Lawn signs are distributed by campaigns to supporters who are expected to post them at their homes and in public places. My friend Gabi, who has worked on political campaigns for as longs as I can remember, would have you know that lawn signs win elections. They are also a key factor in voter ID. (Remember, voter ID isn’t the ability of the voter to tell you anything about a candidate. They just need to know the name).
I live in Rockland, and at least three days a week I work in Bangor. That’s a 1 1/2 to 2 hour drive. I pass a lot of lawn signs on the way. In Rockland, it’s been Mills (16 percent voter ID) and Bruce Poliquin (eight percent) duking it out at the few small grassy parks throughout town, but over the last few days some Otten (30 percent) signs have shown up as well.
I have to get to Camden before I see anyone else’s name (Abbot’s, eight percent, and LePage, seven percent) and I have to get to Belfast before I see any mention of anyone else (Matt Jacobson has signs on the Route 1 overpass in Belfast, and a 3 percent voter ID).
Notice any missing names? Bill Beardsly. The guy has no ground campaign, if lawn signs are any indicator. (Or, you know, a lack of any concentrated media campaign. No Peter Mills-style ads on Augusta Insider, no TV spots).
Also, no democrats until Bangor (Steve Rowe, 11 percent, in the window for the local Pakistani restaurant. I guess they really like the guy). I saw some Rosa Scarcelli (seven percent) signs somewhere along the way too, but only one, and I don’t remember where. Libby Mitchell (the most recognized Democratic candidate with 16 percent voter ID) has no signs on Route 1.
So from what I can tell, the voter ID numbers match roughly with what I’ve seen from lawn signs. Lots of Otten (even if not in Rockland) with Mills and Poliquin not far behind. On my daily commute, Jacobson exists in only Belfast, which makes the 3 percent ID make sense. Rowe is the only democrat I’ve seen signs from, which explains why he’s ahead of Democratic hopefulls Scarcelli and McGowan in Voter ID. The big mystery is Mitchell, but not really when you consider she is Senate President.
What about the rest of you? Have you guys noticed any lawn sign trends in your hometowns or commuter zones?
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