BUMPER STICKER WARS….In a couple of recent comment threads, people have been chatting about the surprising number of Kerry/Edwards signs and bumper stickers they’ve been seeing even in relatively conservative neighborhoods. Hmmm. That sounds interesting. But is it true? Here at the Washington Monthly, of course, we refuse to rely on mere anecdotal evidence like this. We prefer something more scientific.

Now, it so happens that I live in a conservative neighborhood. Orange County might not be quite the reactionary monolith that it was back in the glory days of the John Birch Society, but here in my hometown of Irvine you still can’t get elected dogcatcher if you advertise yourself as merely a “Republican.” If you’re not a “conservative Republican,” you’re out of luck. My neighbors don’t like to take chances, you see.

So who’s winning the political signage war here in conservative Irvine? The association that runs my neighborhood would never allow anything as tacky as yard signs, but they still don’t control our cars, so I decided to go out to a local shopping center with my trusty digital camera and count bumper stickers. I came back with a new toner cartridge, some much needed cat food, and lots of pictures.

Good news! Kerry/Edwards bumper stickers outnumbered Bush/Cheney bumper stickers 11 to 7. Even here in the heart of darkness, occasional rays of sunshine peek through.

POSTSCRIPT: In case you’re planning to try this yourself, bewarned that some people get really upset if you take a picture of their car. Even if you turn out to be on the same team. Even if all you do is take a picture of their bumper. Just a word to the wise.

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