Lawn signs are one of the few campaign tactics deployed by candidates for every level of government in the United States. Inexpensive and relatively easy to deploy, lawn signs are a tactic available to even the most obscure and underfunded candidate for a down-ballot office. Indeed, the efflorescence of roadside lawn signs is often one of the few outward manifestations of a low-salience election.
Although campaign tactics ranging from door-to-door canvassing to robotic phone calls have been evaluated by a vast array of field experiments conducted during the past fifteen years, lawn signs have largely escaped scholarly attention.
Working in collaboration with a congressional candidate, a mayoral candidate, an independent expenditure campaign directed against a gubernatorial candidate, and a candidate for county commissioner, we tested the effects of lawn signs by planting them in randomly selected voting precincts.
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