Sign Wars

I did a lot of traveling this weekend and saw lots and lots of signs — though the overwhelming majority were Republican candidate signs for some reason. Let’s review.

First, I said the other day that Casey Cagle has the best sign. I stand by that, but I saw some up this weekend and I guess they are the new signs. I really liked the white ones with the red outline of “Cagle


  1. Brian from Ellijay says:

    I have been in Forsyth quite a bit over the past month and have seen not one Ralph sign Erick. Tibbets signs are everywhere, and now Jack Murphy is getting his up. Quite a few commissioner signs, but no Ralph. They must have just went up.

  2. The best place to put a yard sign up is on the average voter’s TV screen at the end of your 30 second ad on network television. With Ralph’s money advantage I would guess voters will start seeing a lot of his signs.

  3. Tommy_a2b says:

    All I see are local candidates (lots and lots) with a very small amount of the big ticket people.

  4. Michael says:

    I am from the Fayette and Pike County area and there are Kemp signs everywhere down here, and I was in Cherokee County over the weekend, and I saw Kemp and Cagle signs everywhere up there.

  5. GAWire says:

    Casey’s people put up a lot of 4×4 signs in N Fulton and Forsyth this weekend! No Reed signs up that way.

  6. rugby_fan says:

    “I saw no Jim Martin signs, no Cathy Cox signs, no Kathy Cox signs, no Bill Stephens signs, no Brian Kemp signs, and only one Perry McGuire sign.”

    Jim Martin signs are all over 75/85 above downtown to about the Howell Mill Road exit

    Saw one Stephens sign at the W. Paces Ferry exit of 75N

    I think I saw one Cathy sign in Decatur or somewhere like that.

    None of the others.

    And yes, I think it is just a little too early to start worrying about Sign Wars.

  7. atlantaman says:

    While it’s all anecdotal, I think the signs on yards and businesses are far more telling then ones on public property. Just because Jim Martin ordered too many yard signs and sent some interns out to litter the public right-of-ways with the extras does not mean he’s running a more effective campaign.

  8. Cotton Boll says:

    Several Gary Black signs down south in front of businesses and a couple of farm road entrances. A couple of big Taylor signs and a few Sonny signs. I saw one Kemp sign, but it was laying down in the road – probably blew off the luggage rack of a Volvo or something.

    Lots of Sonny and Black bumber stickers. Quite a few Cathy Cox stickers too.

  9. Rusty Paw says:

    Hey Cotton Boll,

    I saw that Kemp sign too. I think it came from an Agri-Terrorist group. They’ve been searching through the UGa Alumni magazine trying to find yards with Kemp signage. Every two weeks or so when they find a sign they take it down because they’re “uber scared with a turbin on top” that Kemp might win and make Georgia’s lettuce ‘Terrorist Free’

  10. GAWire says:

    My first inclination is to say that signs are useless, too, but this just isn’t true. By no means are signs going to determine a winner, but signs say a lot of underlining things, like who has an organized campaign behind them, who has money to put towards signs, who is really working on statewide and regional penetration, etc. Signs say a lot about a candidate. Furthermore, signs go a long ways towards increasing name ID. Karen Handel signs in Valdosta can make a lot of difference for s/o whose experience is almost entirely inside the Atlanta Metro area. Also, by blanketing an area with signs says that that candidate is focusing on those areas/people, which can go a long ways towards boosting support.

    Never underestimate the power of subtle campaigning, which often come through the most basic and traditional of strategies. Again, are signs going to decide a winner? Absolutely not. Do signs have a point and purpose? Absolutement!

    Also, it’s not too early – hello! … we are in June – Primaries are NEXT MONTH!!!! I’m surprised I’m not seeing more signs.

  11. GAWire says:

    I want to make one other comment about signs and campaigning. What used to be a volunteer-driven strategy is now, in my opinion, something that should be outsourced. Meaning, I think for statewide, up-ticket races, it can be more advantageous to outsource a campaign’s sign operations, paying for a company (entire consulting firms are being formed to do this) to manage sign strategy. Essentially you pay for a company to produce, put up, and maintain signs, which includes printing and managing inventory, identifying strategic positions, obtaining necessary permissions, putting up the signs in the strategic locations, delivering, managing down signs, etc, etc, etc. Also, after a campaign, these people take down signs and store them for the next campaign (remember, these are expensive, and should be preserved as much as possible).

    Traditionally, we would say that this is s/t the political director or volunteer coordinator would do working with groups of volunteers, such as CR’s and coalition groups, but not only are those groups inconsistent and unreliable, they also do not allow for a strategic, streamlined system to be put in place, where effectiveness can be maximized.

    Signs are a communications strategy, and should be used to the utmost benefit of the campaign. That might require additional costs/expenses, but they will be worth it.

    One final thing, the little individual yard signs are not the key focus of the sign strategy. It is the placement and viewership of the large, semi-permanent signs that matter most. The little individual ones go down daily, and no one really sees signs in peoples’ yards except neigbors; however, when you have a 4×8 or 4×4’s up and down the freeways, highways, and main thoroughfares, not to mention outside key businesses, etc, people notice this, and it can be an effective strategy.

  12. Melb says:

    In douglasville, a Reed sign was put up in the area between my house and another that faces the exit of a subdivision across the street. It is not a normal spot for signs and right next to it was one of those ‘stop the invasion’ signs. It would seem that the person who put up the Reed sign put up the Anti-immigrant sign. Of course, since they made the mistake of putting them on my property, I took them down. But my question is, are the anti-immigrant groups supporting Reed?

  13. MrGOPJr says:

    Here in Oconee County, I have seen a handful of Black signs and a few Kemp signs. So far, no signs for any other candidates or races.

  14. rugby_fan says:

    Driving up Metropolitan Parkway today saw about 25-30 Grace Davis signs, two Hecht signs, and about 5 Keisha something for City Council.

    Because I know everyone couldn’t wait to know.

  15. rugby_fan says:

    Just as a final note, bumper sticker wise, I have seen about 6 or so Sonny for Governor stickers, no MT stickers, and I used to see a bunch of Cathy stickers (including two in my building). Now I don’t see *any* CC stickers. Just thought Id throw that out…

  16. GAWire says:

    That’s a good point, too … I haven’t seen hardly any bumper stickers this cycle. Now, that is a strategy that really does not have any affect, except for very little name ID and limited exposure.

    I think I have seen 5 Sonny stickers, 1 Reed sticker, a couple Tom Price stickers, a couple of Cathy Cox stickers, 1 for Taylor, and less and less W stickers.

    And, since I know you wanted to know, I did see a Kerry/Edwards sticker the other die – some people just can’t let it die …

  17. Adam says:

    I saw a large Cagle ’06 sign in Lilburn this weekend while I was out geocaching. It did look really good.

  18. Groseclose says:

    I have been traveling regularly in Southwest and South Central Georgia. I have seen a ton of Mark Taylor signs, hardly any Cathy Cox signs (though I have not been to Bainbridge), and several Sonny signs. The only other statewide office seekers’ signs I have regularly noticed are for Casey Cagle and Gary Black.

  19. Pilot says:

    Was in Dalton this weekend and saw two big Kemp signs. In Gwinnett a variety of smal signs Cagle, Reed, Kemp and Sonny from what I have seen.

  20. Bull Moose says:

    Having worked for campaigns, signs work best in the weeks leading up to the election to demonstrate increasing support and visibility.

    As well, in ex-urban communities, signs are important.

    Signs do not work in urban centers like Atlanta.

  21. Mrs. Adam Kornstein says:

    Isn’t there some kind of rule about sign placement? I’m seeing Mark Taylor signs all over 285. I thought they couldn’t be on the highway right of way.

    Friend of the DOT? Or misinformed volunteer?

    Reed signs appearing all over Cobb, mostly East Cobb, also appear to be in the illegal right of way and not on private property. What are the legal ramifications? Who do we call?

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