Signs of Swarthmore

As I walk around Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, I see countless political signs. This comes as no surprise, as Pennsylvania is going to be key for both major party nominees, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

A Hillary Clinton sign on a Swarthmore lawn.

Though I traversed many residential blocks, I saw few Republican signs. of course — Swarthmore College, home to approximately 1,300 students, who make up about 20% of Swarthmore’s population, is situated in Swarthmore, just 11 miles away from Philadelphia. Young adults tend to be liberal, so it is only natural to expect a Democratic bias in a college town. But, after spotting dozens of the familiar blue-and-white Hillary Clinton signs, I finally found one — a Hillary For Prison sign.

An apparently self-designed Hillary for Prison sign.

What must it feel like to be the lone (obvious) Trump house amongst the dozens of Hillary houses, I wondered?

Presidential signs far outnumbered all others, which was to be expected, but I did find a few Katie McGinty (D) senatorial signs for the PA Senate race (Republican Pat Toomey’s signs were mysteriously absent), a race that has been deemed one of the most consequential contests of this election cycle. Pennsylvania will be key in what happens in the Senate, whether the Democrats tip the scales or not.

A Katie McGinty sign amidst fallen leaves.

While the battle for control of the Senate rages, state representatives are also up for election. Representative Leanne Krueger-Braneky is the incumbent Democratic representative for House District 161 and is running against Republican challenger Patti Rodgers Morrisette. The ratio of Krueger-Braneky signs versus Morrisette signs was, by my estimate, 15 to 1.

State representative campaign signs.

Some other choices that Pennsylvania voters will have to make on Tuesday include between Josh Shapiro and Eugene DePasquale. Shapiro is running to replace Attorney General Kathleen Kane (D), who resigned in August. He faces Republican John Rafferty in the general election. Meanwhile, John Brown (R) has challenged the Democrat DePasquale as DePasquale seeks to retain the position of State Auditor General.

Attorney general and auditor general campaign signs.

As I scanned the streets for signs, I noticed several bright blue bumper stickers, remnants from Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders’s run for president.

A few minutes later, I find another car with an Obama-Biden sticker from 2008, faded and scratched due to age. Next to it was stuck a brand-new Hillary 2016 sticker, fresh from a DSCC envelope. And in a symbol of PA pride, a Philadelphia Union sticker filled the left side of the bumper.

Photos taken by Emily Shen.