Why such a shortage of Obama campaign materials?

(Posted here because it’s too political for GQ and other forums.)

I’m literally surrounded by Obama campaign offices; there’s three within a ten minute drive of my house. Still, checking in with them, none have yard signs, stickers, buttons, or anything else. I canvassed for Obama last Saturday, and the campaign office had nothing except pamphlets. No signs, no nothing The buttons they had were leftovers; “Republicans for Obama” and “Veterans for Obama” were about it.

During the last election, it was easy to find Kerry election paraphernalia. I remember there being a LOT more cars with Kerry stickers four years ago than Obama stickers now, and I don’t think that’s due to a lack of support for Obama around these parts; the eastern suburbs of Cleveland tend to be quite liberal-leaning.

So, why is there such a shortage of Obama campaign materials? My GF has a thepry that people are hoarding them for future sale on eBay if Obama doesn’t see the end of his term,

Because they don’t think they help so they are choosing to spend their money on things that matter. 538 had a good article about it, the jist of it was “yard signs don’t win elections”.

Tell me about it - same thing here, supposedly the epicenter of swing states. Demstore.com has plenty of Obama gear, but I’ve been waiting for more than three weeks for my latest order. I’d like to think it’s just very, very popular stuff and they’re swamped with orders.

Be sure to vote on Nov. 4!

In my neck of the woods (Bucks County, PA/Burlington County, NJ) Obama merchandise is being traded like a commodity. And yes, stuff like buttons are hard to get. It took almost two months to get a T-shirt my sister ordered for me from one of the rallys Obama held early in the year in Maryland, although recently you could get a T-shirt just by donating to the campaign. Hey! Where are my five T-shirts?

Lawn signs? Forget about it. My neighbor three houses down has two on her front lawn. I’m so jealous.

You can print all kinds of stuff out from Obamamedia.

Yes, I read the same article. Yard signs don’t win elections. What does win elections is calling, canvassing, and getting people to the polls. So that’s what the local offices are spending all their money on.


My kid lives in France; I sent him some Obama stuff.
On a recent trip to London, he forgot about the pocketknife he had in his backpack.
The security guy let him keep it in exchange for two Obama stickers.

It could be that the items are in high demand. High demand can lead to shortages.

There’s no “shortage”. We just don’t like them. If we had our way, we wouldn’t have stickers, buttons, lawn signs, or any of that stuff. We have it because it’s a necessary evil and it’s the nature of the beast.

Seriously, if everyone that came in my office that wanted a lawn sign knocked on 10 doors a day or even made 10 phone calls a day, I’d have NO trouble at all with volunteers.

Not only that, but I’ve got a lot of stuff on my plate. I’ve got so many balls in the air, especially now, that lawn signs ONLY make it tougher for me to do my job effectively.

Here’s the article referenced above. I’ll quote a relevant section for you.

Basically, it’s not worth the campaign spending a lot of money on yard signs. If there is a market for yard signs, independent entrepreneurs will come up with them. In Northern Virginia I’ve noticed that the local and state candidates have appended the Obama logo to compound campaign signs, so Obama is getting free (?) advertising out of them.

You’ve got to donate on the specific page to get it. There are pages for magnets, pages with shirts, and pages to show McCain that his negativity causes you to donate. There are dozens of different ones (I think), you’ve just got to log on to the site at the right promotion (or direct there from an email link).

Good luck if they send it to you. I bought three bumper stickers on the Obama Web store. Two of them arrived. There was no email address to write to complain about incomplete orders, but an FAQ on the site read that “customer service” should be contacted if orders were incomplete. I Googled for about ten minutes to find a customer service number, called, and was bounced to voice mail, where the mailbox was full. Basically, there’s no way to contact the official Obama store if your order is incomplete or never arrives.

I paid for my official union-printed Hebrew Obama sticker, and I want my official union-printed Hebrew Obama sticker, damnit!

Obama mentions the “Yard signs don’t vote” mantra in The Audacity of Hope (he doesn’t claim it’s an original thought; apparently it’s just a political truism) so the “Yeesh… yard signs” mindset among campaign workers isn’t new to 2008.

That said, I donated the day after Biden was announced for VP and was promised an Obama/Biden t-shirt for my money. Still haven’t seen it and, to be honest, I’m not optimistic about my chances. I wonder if I can sue the federal government for it after Jan 20th? :wink:

It would be unethical for the Federal Government to distribute partisan campaign materials. Your best bet is to hit eBay before November 4th.

I ordered two signs but didn’t receive them yet. I begged for a sign from the Obama office and finally got one of the four they had that day.

Well, the XL shirt I ordered finally came. Don’t order one! Because this XL might fit a size 2 woman. Maybe. I’m sending it to my daughter. I didn’t even try to get it over my head.

So they size the shirts wrong. Or they sent me a kid’s shirt. I’m not sure.

Just got my demstore.com order, almost a month after ordering. It’s all here, though: a variety of buttons, as I ordered, and a lawn sign.

I finally got my Obama - Biden swag package, after ordering it right after Biden was announced as VP. I’ve wound up ordering buttons, bumper stickers and yard signs off noncampaign online sites like CafePress and ObamaZen because they churn 'em out fast.

The yard signs and almost all of the buttons and bumper stickers I donated upon receipt to the local Dem HQ (where I do weekly desk duty) because we can’t keep the stuff in stock.

This past Monday while I was on greeter duty a woman came in to donate a bunch of yard signs promoting both Obama - Biden and John Kerry. Turned out to be the senator’s sister, who lives two towns over from me. :smiley:

I have a sign I got at an Obama rally here way back in May of 2007. I fully intended to put it either in my back car window, or in my yard after he won the Primary. Then I changed my mind…not about voting for Obama, but about putting a sign on my car (or bumper sticker) or whatever.


It was about 7 weeks ago I saw the very first bumper sticker for this election - it was on a car in a parking lot and it was for McCain. I looked at it and realized three things:

  1. It sort of pissed me off and I thought “What an idiot!”
  2. I realized that if I had had an Obama bumper sticker on my car, the driver of that car would have seen it and thought the same thing of me.
  3. It dawned on me that my bumper sticker would have no effect whatsoever; it would be either preaching to the choir, pissing off the non-choir, or simply go over the heads of those undecided people who are not sure if they know what a choir is.

Unlike years past, I think that is the only bumper sticker I have seen to date. Despite being here in Nevada, a swing state, it is almost as if everybody has agreed to disagree and just go vote without advertising who they intend to vote for…plus it is not like there has been a dearth of ads on television, so to get back to the point, why bother putting up a sign or slapping bumper sticker on my car?

I made a contribution that was supposed to include a free bumper sticker. That was over a month ago and it’s never arrived. Pisses me off.

I just got mine in yesterday’s mail. I’m wearing it now. :slight_smile: