HPU Professor's Research Finds Lawn Signs Can Win Close Elections

High Point, North Carolina, UNITED STATES

HIGH POINT, N.C., March 9, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lawn signs are a well-known and widely used tactic during political races, but do they have a major effect on a campaign? High Point University professor Dr. Brandon Lenoir co-authored a recent study that shows political lawn signs have a small but positive effect on votes in a political race, but no effect on turnout.

Working in collaboration with a congressional candidate, a mayoral candidate, a gubernatorial candidate, and two candidates for county commissioner, during campaigns in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania, Lenoir and his co-authors tested the effects of lawn signs by planting them in randomly selected voting precincts.

"Millions of dollars are spent each election cycle on political lawn signs," said Lenoir, professor of political science and political communication. "We wanted to test the belief held by many old-time precinct captains that more lawn signs equals more votes. Our findings indicate lawn signs will not win elections on their own." 
Electoral results pooled over all four studies that took place over two and a half years suggest that signs had little effect on the results unless the race was very close.
"If more than a couple percentage points separate the two candidates, lawn signs will have no effect on the outcome of the election," said Lenoir. "Bottom line, lawn signs are not the silver bullet for winning elections."
Lenoir is also developing a political communication master's degree program at HPU that will launch in fall 2016. The program will allow students to pursue a career in virtually any part of the political spectrum. They will learn how to develop the strategy for a lobbying campaign or advocacy, how to build the strategy for a political campaign, and how to be crisis managers, just to name a few.

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Brandon Lenoir

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