Candidates Count On Campaign Signs For Name Recognition - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

09/30/03

Candidates Count On Campaign Signs For Name Recognition

They pop up in yards and street corners whenever an election approaches.

Like them or loathe them campaign signs are a part of the political landscape. You can't help but notice the signs, but do voters pay attention to the names they promote?

They compete for your attention along busy streets and in vacant lots. Campaign signs are part of the political name game. The more voters see a candidate's name, the more likely they'll remember it November 4th.

At least that's the idea. Voters aren't so sure. 

"Well, they're trying to get people to solicit to vote for them. But to me they're just eyesores," said one man, who stopped at a busy corner that has more than two dozen such signs.

"I wish they were not there," said another motorist. "It's an eyesore I think."

"I got excited when I saw Haley was going to run for governor," said Larry Franklin, as he helped put together Haley Barbour for governor signs.

Campaign volunteers say keeping the candidate's name in front of the voters is critical. And signs are an effective messenger.

"They make an impression on people when they see them. It's like billboards and advertising for people. They see Haley's sign, they think Haley. And when they go to the polls, hopefully they'll remember him," said Franklin.

The challenge for the candidates is finding a way to have their name stand out among the campaign clutter. A visible, vacant lot can easily include more than a dozen campaign signs.

"To me, they look like they're cluttered, because there's so many of them around. It just makes a mess," said one frustrated voter.

While such signs may not send the desired message to every voter, chances are they'll continue to show up before each election, as political candidates promote their names among the public.

by Steve Phillips

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