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Saturday, October 11, 2008

The latest in opinion survey techniques

Living in Wisconsin, a state much coveted by politicos this season, my and my neighbors' telephones have been ringing off the hook with pollster calls for a good long while. (Our district's congressman, Steve Kagen, actually rang up one of my friends the day of the second bailout vote to chat for ten minutes on how he should vote.) There is also the biannual yard sign battle going on, part of the "ground game" you hear about on sites like Politico and FiveThirtyEight. Since it's miles to anywhere around here, counting yard signs as you go is just one more informal pulse-of-the-electorate method. An idle pastime, to be sure, but it's often interesting.

Such as today — when, traveling down State 22, I spotted someone with a whole new kind of survey technique. There's a farm by the road that's got a good half-dozen or more yard signs out, for national, state, and local candidates — Democrats all, but that's not the interesting thing. It's a very visible spray of signage, and it must have evoked some response — because today when I went past, the resident had added signs in either direction instructing motorists:

"Like — Blow Horn
No Like — Finger"

"Tanks," the owner signs off. (Perhaps it was the weekend home of Popeye the Sailor Man.)

No idea if he's keeping track, but given what's been going on around here, I expect it will be a few short days before Gallup, Rasmussen, Zogby, and the like have people posted in the woods, tabulating horn honks and obscene gestures. Unless they're there already!
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