(This ran in 2018 and I’m rerunning it now because it’s easy – I mean, because it’s relevant.)
New Hampshire is approaching our every-other-year election for state and federal offices, so political signs are littering the landscape.
This always raises the question: Do they work?
I have tried to measure their effect in the past but couldn’t come close to disentangling their effect from other factors. For example, I know a candidate who once eschewed signs entirely and won – but he was a well-known, well-established incumbent with no real competition.
In 2015 a field study was done that suggested signs can have a 1.7% effect on results – you can read about it here. However, that was before social media warped the whole idea of running an election, so who really knows.
My wife and I drove past a lot of signs yesterday. We wondered not only about the overall efficacy, but also spacing effects. Is there a difference in voter persuasion between copies of the same sign placed a foot apart vs. (say) 200 feet apart? NaomiNaomiNaomiNaomiNaomi vs. Naomi ….. Naomi ….. Naomi ….. Naomi ….. Naomi?
They are all annoying!!