Do political signs really sway voters?

An exorbitant amount of signs with a month to go before the election

Jim Hanzo
September 12, 2019 - 8:53 am

With election day just one month out, you may have noticed all the political signs on the side of roads and in neighborhood yards in Jefferson Parish.  There are races for Parish President, council seats, Senate races, the race for Sheriff, Lieutenant Governor, and others.

But do they have any political influence as to who we vote for?  Robert Hogan, professor of political science at LSU says while it's hard to tell, signs can help in a way. 

"I would say, under certain conditions, sign have a great deal of influence, for candidates who are not well known," Hogan said. 

Yet signs are not cheap to produce and it seems just about every political candidate has signs somewhere in their jurisdiction.    

Hogan goes on to explain.

"Another thing that they can do, they can be part of a bandwagon effect," he adds.  "If  voters see a lot of someone's signs, when they hadn't seen them before and maybe it's a new name, they they're thinking, 'hey, a lot of people have this sign in their yard, maybe I should take note and pay attention to what this candidate is saying.'"

What do voters say about signs affecting who they vote for?  Most say they are not influenced by political signs or any sign for that matter.

Signs, period don't really affect anything for me, for example, on a billboard or anything like that," a woman told WWL.    

"No, they don't matter at all for me," another worker said.  "Positions and what they stand for matter to me."  

"Not really, I just pay attention to the names, pretty much," this man said.   

"For me, it's one more piece of junk on the side of the street," one lady laughed.  


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