Political signage comes in many shapes, sizes and materials, from magnetics to your standard lawn signs. But do they actually work? By “working,” this means convincing people to vote for the candidate being represented. The answer is yes and no. Political signs work by optimizing name recognition, which is the bread and butter of campaigning. David Mayhew, a political scientist, says, “To be perceived at all is to be perceived favorably.” One of the most popular types of political signage is lawn signs, and a Vanderbilt University study indicates these signs work. One Vanderbilt study was simple: Put up four big signs for fictional Benn Griffin, school board candidate, near a middle school. Just three days afterward, a poll showed parents who drove by these signs were 10 percent likelier to vote for Griffin.
Political signs also work by encouraging voting in general. They may not always sway who the voter votes for, but they are fantastic Election Day reminders. Costas Panagopoulos, political scientist, found in a recent study that political signage results in a 3.6 percent higher voter turnout. Political signage also serves as a social cue, helping neighbors share pertinent information with each other. Sometimes this can work as an information shortcut. For example, two neighbors are friendly and one puts up a political sign, but the other isn’t interested in the election. When voting comes around, though, the less informed person may vote for his neighbor’s chosen candidate simply because he likes his neighbor.
Working the Polls (with Signs)
Campaign signs also let supporters showcase their opinions, thus upping political participation. Todd Makse, political scientist, says, “Yard signs constitute an important, symbolic aspect of what we might call an ordinary individual’s total campaign experience.” For political volunteers, yard signs also let people share how much hard work they’ve put into a campaign. Campaign signage can be especially effective with local elections because people are more involved, more educated and can make a bigger impact.
Of the many ways to campaign, cost breakdown reveals that political signage is by far the most affordable when it comes to bang for your buck. Costs can vary with signage, but assuming a cost of $10 per sign and that each sign garners three votes (as per the Panagopoulos study), cost per vote equals just one dollar. According to Panagopoulos, door-to-door canvassing is $20 per vote, direct mail is $60 per vote and phone banks are $100 per vote.
Quality also makes a big difference. A well-designed sign will get more attention and votes than a poorly designed one. At a minimum, signs should have a first name, last name and position. Make the most of political signage by trusting the creation and printing to a superior signage business. The durability of a sign is also a factor, particularly in regions that are wet, snowy or windy during election season. The sign should be built to withstand the elements, including mud-slinging. IG Signs designs and constructs quality signs of all types and sizes. Contact them for all your signage needs, including political and election signs.