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Political Signs are Everywhere! Do They Make a Difference? [AUDIO]

Tim Lyon

UNDATED – With the election now just a few weeks away, political signs seem to be everywhere.  Look up and down virtually any street and the chances are pretty good you can spot a sign touting a candidate, or question, on the ballot.  But, just how effective are those signs?

College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University Political Science Professor Jim Read says there have been studies on the effectiveness of signs, but they have been inconclusive.

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Read says, when it comes to political signs, candidates have taken the better safe than sorry approach.

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Read says there’s a term for those who put up a sign or bumper sticker, or wear a button, for their candidate.  It’s called “expressive political participation”.

He says studies have shown the most effective way for candidates to get out the vote is by door knocking.  He also says candidates are much more comfortable going into a neighborhood that has a lot of their own signs.

Read says, the bottom line is, political signs are probably going to be a part of the election process for quite a while.

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