While I hope you are all aware there is a Presidential election coming up in just a few days, I’m certain my fellow Buckeyes know. The Electoral College has turned Ohio voters into the most coveted commodity this election season. Initially I loved all the attention. As an activist for voter’s rights, it made voter registration and awareness much easier to accomplish. Unfortunately it has quickly turned into an annoyance.
It is impossible to escape the political influence of living in a swing state. I drive 11 miles to my day job on fairly untraveled back country roads mainly lined with now empty corn and soy fields. In those 11 miles there are 47 Presidential candidate yard signs. A church in my neighborhood has now done 2 community church bus trips to the early in person voting location. At least once a week my doorbell is rung by one of the candidate’s supporters. I get polling calls about every 4 days,. It's tempting to give different answers just to see if I can affect the news coverage.
I’m signed up for e-mails for both major parties and regularly get multiple daily e-mails reminding me how important Ohio is, that I can go vote right now, and of course asking for a few bucks for the cause. Even my computer and smart phone are involved. Nearly every ad-driven app on my phone is littered with presidential ads. It is the same with the Web.
TV and radio is overrun with ads supported by the candidates and those put out by Super PACs. And that is just for the Presidential election; we also have a nationally funded Senate race going on here too. Fortunately, I’m able to avoid a significant amount of the attention by listening to satellite radio and utilizing my DVR, but it doesn’t shield everything. While watching football this weekend, there was a commercial break that included an ad from both presidential candidates, one from one of their Super PACs, and one from a Senate candidate’s PAC. Every commercial break that had at least 4 commercials, had at least 1 Presidential or Senate candidate’s ad throughout the game.
Have you ever been an innocent victim of a candidate’s motorcade? Trust me; it is enough to drive you crazy even if it’s the candidate you support making you late to a concert.
Now I made my decision a while ago, so the endless marketing has become nothing but an irritant to me. It is like every media outlet I access is constantly telling me who to vote for, and the future of the universe rests on my decision. I realize there are still people making up their minds, and I respect their process. I just can’t wait until my TV, radio, computer, phone etc. go back to simply telling me that I’m old, fat, and ugly.
Is it November 7 yet?
J.R. Wotring is HeadCount's Team Leader in Columbus, OH