"Now, here's the problem as I see it. While Governor Bailey is beloved by all, 98% of the voters rate you as 'Despicable or worse'." - Burns for Governor Campaign Manager
I spent the last weekend biking around mostly rural Michigan and stopped into the Jackson Democratic office to make some calls for Hillary and MI-07 candidate Gretchen Driskell on Saturday afternoon. None of the below is exactly earth shattering or conclusive, but a couple of things did strike me:
- Lawn signs are a notoriously poor gauge of candidate support. A lot of the time people who get them are the ones who want to think they're "doing something" without dialing a phone or knocking on a door. Except in local races where only one side might even be able to afford them in real quantity, usually a lack or abundance of them doesn't mean anything.
That said, I have logged a couple hundred miles on my bike the last few days, mostly through very rural and/or very Republican parts of Michigan. Now, Trump isn't going to win our state anyway, but what struck me wasn't just the lack of Trump signs, it was the lack of Trump signs even in front of houses and businesses that are *filled* with signs. I didn't snap a picture of it, but there was a large, commercial farm outside of Jackson that must've had signs for every Republican candidate from House and state rep down to dogcatcher, and there wasn't a single Trump sign. I can't say for sure, but I'd be willing to bet that Romney and McCain signs weren't similarly absent four or eight years ago.
I have seen a grand total of six Trump signs so far, only one of which was accompanied by signs for any other Republicans. I don't know if ticket splitting is going to make a big comeback this year (let's hope it doesn't), but on the literal ground, a lot of Republicans are clearly keeping their distance from their nominee.
- There is a layer of Democrats that are *very* leery of Hillary. I was only making calls for two hours, but I got through to two people who were definitely planning to vote Democratic but were still talking themselves into Hillary. (I tried to help them along, of course.) There was another person who said he was only voting Hillary because Trump scared the crap out of him. And finally there was one person who was defiantly voting for Trump because he couldn't stand Clinton.
Those four people were a little less than half the total who actually answered, and the numbers I was dialing came from a Democratic call list. The rest were generally enthusiastic, including one young woman who was excited to be able to vote this year, so that's very encouraging. But the overall picture fits with a nominee who is unpopular but far less so than her odious opponent.
In closing, here is the yuugest Trump sign I saw:
Note the private entrance gate on the left. They fancy.