Seeing fewer campaign yard signs this year? You’re not alone

MADISON, Wis. — The presidential election, as usual, has many people paying attention to politics, but it’s possible some are expressing themselves less publicly than usual.

Mary Baldwin has one of the few Donald Trump yard signs on Madison’s west side.

“It’s a means of expression and in the Madison area, in particular, I think oftentimes I’m in the minority,” Baldwin said.

Donald Trump sign,

Just blocks away you’ll find Jeff Schimpff, who has embellished a Hillary Clinton sign in his front yard with stickers for Russ Feingold and the League of Conservation voters. He also has a Bernie Sanders sign in his front window.

“We keep it out there to try and encourage people and remind people that there are a lot of important issues,” Schimpff said.

Hillary Clinton sign,

But he said he’s also noticed that this year there are not as many Madison residents publicly advertising who they’re supporting with a yard sign.

“I have been very surprised that there are so few,” Schimpff said. “I’m not sure if it’s that people are so turned off by the nature of the election that they don’t want to visibly show any signs that they’re paying attention, I don’t know what it is. It is puzzling.”

The recent Marquette Law School poll showed more than 60 percent of voters believe Clinton and Trump are dishonest. When asked whether the candidate “shows good judgment,” 48 percent said the phrase described Clinton, and 50 percent said it does not. For Trump only 28 percent said he shows good judgment, while 70 percent of likely voters polled said he does not.

News 3 asked those with signs whether they’re proud to proclaim who they’re supporting.

“I am proud to have this sign in the yard, yes,” Baldwin said. “Because I’m voting for Donald Trump for president.”

“Not as proud as I’d like to be because both candidates are very flawed,” said Schimpff, who said he had concerns about nearly every candidate for president. “We think Donald Trump is fatally flawed.”

The two said maybe generational differences led them to put signs up while some simply aren’t anymore.

“Those of us who grew up in the 60s, we’re very politically active and just are going to remain that way,” Schimpff said. “Campaign signs for whatever issue you may have are one way of people expressing their values and encouraging others to do the same.”

“People need to be able to express themselves and this is one way that I as a resident and a taxpayer can do it,” Baldwin said. “So political signs are here to stay until Nov. 9.”

But local parties say they’re still handing out political signs at field offices. The Democratic Party of Dane County said it has given out more signs this year than the last two elections and may soon run out.

Originally published at