Wisconsin has been a swing state with varying degrees of drama for more than a century.
That’s kind of cool when you think about how one proud but genetically humble state in the middle of the country can make its voice heard, and kind of not-so-cool when you think about all the voices we hear during election season — over and over on media ads, robo calls and sound bites from rallies.
Raise your hand if a recorded telephone call ever convinced you to vote for a candidate. I thought not.
Still, the landlines ring.
I don’t mind the live calls, as long as the person on the other end speaks knowledgably and accurately about the candidate he or she represents. Mostly, though, I like to do my own research into the candidates who will receive my precious vote and I like to do it when I have the time to digest the information.
I also, especially this year, like to get inside the mind of people who are supporting a different candidate than I am. Rather than responding with an eyeroll and an exasperated, “What are you thinking?” I like to know what voters really are thinking, especially around here, where every single vote will make a difference in the presidential campaign.
Since 2000, Wisconsin has had three presidential elections decided by less than a percentage point, including 2016.
It has ocurred to me in recent weeks as they become more prevalent, that yard signs do offer some insight into the mindset of the real estate owners they represent.
In the interest of sharing the mentality of the Wisconsin voter with the public at large, I have assembled a collection of some of the more compelling yard signs I’ve seen.
Most are within walking distance from my house. Some are on the road from my house to our cabin.
Except for the Amanda Stuck sign, whose juxtaposition with an enterprising home owner’s efforts to sell an actual dirt pile cracked me up but in no way reflected on the candidate herself, I am presenting the yard signs without comment.
This is the Wisconsin voters’ mindset in 2020 as I see it. A lot of people I know already have cast their vote. But, if your neighbor with a yard sign hasn’t, maybe now is the time to have an honest, mutually respectful and productive chat.
Of course, yard signs don’t vote.
But, I hope you do.