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In A Polarized Climate, Yard Signs Serve As A Platform To Publicly Declare Political Beliefs




Mark Mumford, Clerk of the Circuit Court for Kent County, walks through a mass of political placards as he arrives to check on voter turn out in Maryland's early voting at the Kent County Public Library.
Mark Mumford, Clerk of the Circuit Court for Kent County, walks through a mass of political placards as he arrives to check on voter turn out in Maryland's early voting at the Kent County Public Library.
JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

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Yard signs have expanded past simply advocating for a candidate; they’ve become an expression of one’s identity. As Election Day approaches, there is no shortage of signage. Whether advocating for a presidential candidate, a judgeship, or proposition, signs have become an increasingly familiar marketing strategy and can be found in most residential areas during election cycles.

We speak with Anand Sokhey, associate professor of political science at the University of Colorado-Boulder and author of “Politics on Display: Yard Signs and the Politicization of Public Spaces,” who researches how citizens experience campaigns, why many still insist on airing their view in public, and what happens when social spaces become political spaces.

Today on AirTalk, we’re learning more about how signs affect us and the places we live, as well as their significance in this election cycle. Questions? Give us a call at 866-893-5722.

Guest:

Anand Sokhey, associate professor of political science at the University of Colorado-Boulder and co-author of “Politics on Display: Yard Signs and the Politicization of Public Spaces” (Sokey, A.E. 2019); he tweets @AESokhey