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Seeing the signs

Submitted by on 1, October 15, 2008 – 8:45 amNo Comment

We must admit, we’re dying to know how the upcoming election will pan out. But how to get a bead on the potential results? We can’t exactly afford a fancy polling firm to take your pulse, Alameda voters. So we opted to rely on what we’d call the poor gal’s polling resource: Lawn signs!

Yes, this is a highly, highly unscientific method for determining how you all will vote. Folks who post lawn signs are a self-selected crew. But they are also a crew of people who will probably vote, and are letting us know darn good and well who and what they plan to vote for (or against). And it’s a good bet their friends and neighbors may view them as being involved enough to take their opinion to the voting booth this November 4.

We stopped by JavaRama for a delicious pumpkiny latte thing Tuesday morning and then set off for a two-hour car tour of the Island (sorry, environment!). We counted lawn signs all over town (183, to be precise). Based on that, here’s what it’s looking like for November:

Presidential ticket: Obama/Biden

City Council: Doug deHaan and Marie Gilmore

School Board: Ron Mooney and Niel Tam; tossup between David Forbes and Trish Spencer

East Bay Municipal Utilities District board: Doug Linney

AC Transit board: No preference

Alameda County Superior Court: Phil Daly

Measure P: No

Measures Q-X: What?

Gilmore and Mooney carried the day largely on the strength of the support of their Gold Coast neighbors, where DeHaan showed massive strength both and home and in the East End. Nielsen Tam earned his spot in our poll with a few strategically placed signs in each neighborhood we toured (those included the East End, Harbor Bay Farm Island, West End, Bayport and Gold Coast – apologies, Central Alamedans). Bay Farmers hate Measure P.

Folks in the sign-rich Gold Coast really, really want Obama to be president, as did most of the Island, though we did see a few McCain/Palin signs and have heard tell of more. Overall, it seemed to us that the older the neighborhood’s homes, the higher the proliferation of signs.

We also noted signs for and against the gay marriage-banning Proposition 8, with the “No on 8” faction squeaking it out. Folks were also keyed into state propositions 2 (farm animal cruelty) and 4 (parental notification for abortions). We also saw a mysterious sign featuring a squatting dog and a strikethrough, though we’re not sure whose campaign this represents.

So there you have it. Stay tuned for more crack political coverage. In the meantime, if you’re looking for some actual real election stuff, the Alameda Education Foundation has posted video of the school board candidate debate it held on October 6. You can link to that here or in our super-duper November 4 Election box to your left.

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