High unfavorable ratings mean less political lawn signs, bumper stickers in 2016

From protests to posts on Facebook the signs are everywhere that this election is dividing the nation. But what about campaign signs, and bumper stickers? If you've noticed FEWER of those this year -- you're not alone.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - You may have noticed that there are fewer political lawn signs and bumper stickers around in the DMV area this election cycle, despite the fact that the vote is just weeks away. Now some political science experts are speculating that the candidate's unfavorability may be at play.

"You have candidates with record high unfavorable ratings," said Gary Nordlinger, a professor at The George Washington University. "So for a lot of voters, it's choosing between what they see as the lesser of two evils."

According to Real Clear Politics, a website that aggregates various national polls, Democrat Hillary Clinton has an unfavorability rating of nearly 53-percent. That compares to an unfavorabiltiy rating of 58-percent for Republican Donald Trump.

"Literally when you go into the polling," he said. "And people say 'why do you support who you're supporting,' generally the number one reason with about 40-percent is 'because it's not the other candidate.'"

Christopher Butler, a former Bernie Sanders supporter, said this is definitely the case for him.

"As far as I'm concerned," he said. "I look at it as it's like people choosing between which sickness they'd rather have. They're both bad choices. They're both bad choices and I guess people aren't as excited about it."

And this thought crosses party lines, echoed by Republican voter Daniel Aiken.

"I'm just not compelled to," he said. "I'm not proud enough of any given candidate to put up a lawn sign up at this point."

Nordlinger said that location makes a big difference as well. He said that in Maryland and DC, a Democratic victory is highly likely, and so most parties do not waste time purchasing lawn signs and bumper stickers. Meanwhile, in swing states like Virginia, he said more signs were likely to pop up.

In Fairfax, voter Victoria Carroll said there aren't too many signs around.

"A lot of people are kinda fed up with all the things going on," she said. "The nastiness which is normal, but it's more so this year."


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