A Kasich supporter's decked out Airstream before a town hall event at Franklin Pierce University. Photo by Andrew Plotch.
It takes all of ten minutes of driving through New Hampshire to get a different perspective on the election. The campaign signs that line roads and backyards offer an informal indication of support and committed supporters, similar to the first snowfall of the years that signals an oncoming winter.
Although not a perfect straw poll, there are a few interesting takeaways one can gather from the signs in the Granite State. After driving about 1,300 miles over the past two weeks, these are my thoughts on how the candidates are faring in the yard sign caucus.
Jeb!; JEB... Jeb?: Jeb Bush's signs throughout the state are some of the most prevalent and interesting. Along with his well known "Jeb!" signs there are others which scream the word "JEB", in all capital letters with white font on a flat red poster. Most of the Jeb signs are placed in sets, usually of four to eight in a row alongside the road or at major intersections. Clearly, these are not big Bush supporters taking the signs home from rallies, but rather staff or committed volunteers working with the campaign. After seeing so many bland JEB signs clumped along the highway, I've certainly become a fan of the exclamation point.
Trump: Most of Donald's signs are similar to his ego--huge. Standing four feet tall and eight feet wide they are found in store windows, on lawns, and even in front of a few farms and lakes facing major roads, especially in the most conservative parts of the state. Scattered throughout the state you see smaller signs on lawns that claimed the businessman will make America great again.
Bernie: True to his theme of being a man of the people, his signs are small and plentiful. Across New Hampshire both houses and small businesses proudly displayed their Bernie signs, sometimes several are clustered on the same lawn. Some areas have many more signs than others, generally signs are closer to cities rather than very urban areas.
Carly: With signs much better than her poll numbers, Fiorina's name is well mixed among houses and roads. Sometimes Carly signs near roads or outside businesses are just as large as Trump's. However, generally they are standard sized.
Kasich: Although they don't have signs at as many houses as Fiorina, the Kasich campaign worked to make up the difference along major roads and intersections.
Hillary: Although not as prevalent as any of the candidates listed above, Hillary signs are visible throughout the state.
Carson: Not nearly as numerous as Bush's signs, Carson's were clearly placed at strategic locations along roads by staffers or volunteers. The proportion of signs is significantly higher than the 3% he is currently polling at in the state.
The Rest of the Pack: Signs for any of the other candidates are few and far between in New Hampshire. Rubio, Cruz, and Christie, although doing well in some polls, have no substantial presence on the roads of the Granite State.
Note: My travel throughout New Hampshire has mostly on larger roads throughout the southern half of the state over the past few weeks. These observations reflect that travel.