(Lawn) signs of the times

At this time four years ago, my neighborhood was festooned with “Mitt” signs.

It’s a middle-class subdivision of 130 homes in a sprawling development just north of Tampa.  My neighbors are cops, nurses, teachers, plumbers, electricians, landscapers, small business owners, and retirees.  The neighborhood is ethnically and racially mixed, with one gay and one lesbian couple.  In 2012, at least one-fifth of the homes displayed “Mitt” signs, and others had bumper stickers on their cars.  There was only one Obama/Biden sign.

Today, the Obamanista has a Clinton/Kaine sign.  But there are no Trump signs.

The first guy to put up his “Mitt” sign, and the last to take it down, now has a sign reading “Hillary for Prison 2016.”  Another neighbor had a bumper sticker that said “Defend Freedom, Defeat Hillary,” but it got torn off and he hasn’t replaced it.

Driving around Tampa, and from Tampa to Sarasota, I’ve seen only one Trump bumper sticker, and precious few Clintons.  Even in the parking lots of the local university, USF, I’ve seen maybe half a dozen Hillary stickers.  They’re outnumbered by better than 2 to 1 by Bernies.

Our precinct went for Romney 2849 to 2159, but the subdivision, for whatever reason, may be even more solidly Republican.  The American flags went up the week after 9/11, and I counted 61 today.

So what does it all mean?

The demographics of the neighborhood haven’t changed.  Will the guys who put up the Mitt lawn signs vote for Trump?  I assume so.  But maybe not all of their wives.  And I can’t guess about the other neighbors.  I don’t know any of them well enough to ask.  We talk about our dogs, the weather, our kids, and the Bucs and Rays, probably in that order.

But without any survey of voter preferences, from the Tampa suburbs, it doesn’t look that great for Donald.  My neighbors may support him because they hate and fear Hillary.  But they’re not proud of it.

Jay Michaels (as Josh Michaels) is the author of the novel Outlaws.

At this time four years ago, my neighborhood was festooned with “Mitt” signs.

It’s a middle-class subdivision of 130 homes in a sprawling development just north of Tampa.  My neighbors are cops, nurses, teachers, plumbers, electricians, landscapers, small business owners, and retirees.  The neighborhood is ethnically and racially mixed, with one gay and one lesbian couple.  In 2012, at least one-fifth of the homes displayed “Mitt” signs, and others had bumper stickers on their cars.  There was only one Obama/Biden sign.

Today, the Obamanista has a Clinton/Kaine sign.  But there are no Trump signs.

The first guy to put up his “Mitt” sign, and the last to take it down, now has a sign reading “Hillary for Prison 2016.”  Another neighbor had a bumper sticker that said “Defend Freedom, Defeat Hillary,” but it got torn off and he hasn’t replaced it.

Driving around Tampa, and from Tampa to Sarasota, I’ve seen only one Trump bumper sticker, and precious few Clintons.  Even in the parking lots of the local university, USF, I’ve seen maybe half a dozen Hillary stickers.  They’re outnumbered by better than 2 to 1 by Bernies.

Our precinct went for Romney 2849 to 2159, but the subdivision, for whatever reason, may be even more solidly Republican.  The American flags went up the week after 9/11, and I counted 61 today.

So what does it all mean?

The demographics of the neighborhood haven’t changed.  Will the guys who put up the Mitt lawn signs vote for Trump?  I assume so.  But maybe not all of their wives.  And I can’t guess about the other neighbors.  I don’t know any of them well enough to ask.  We talk about our dogs, the weather, our kids, and the Bucs and Rays, probably in that order.

But without any survey of voter preferences, from the Tampa suburbs, it doesn’t look that great for Donald.  My neighbors may support him because they hate and fear Hillary.  But they’re not proud of it.

Jay Michaels (as Josh Michaels) is the author of the novel Outlaws.