January 17, 2021


Epicurean computer & technology

The History of Political Bumper Stickers

Developed shortly after World War II, bumper stickers have been constant sites on American roadways since that time. One use for bumper stickers for political campaigns. We saw it in the last presidential election for sure, and even lesser elections promote their candidates with bumper stickers. Call them “pieces of flair” for your car – but with a political message.

It is interesting to look at some political stickers through the years. It is not entirely accurate to say that the quality of bumper sticker determines the outcome of a presidential campaign (because that would be crazy!), we will let you draw your own assumptions. It might be true that good bumper sticker doesn’t hurt.

The 1964 presidential election was a political showdown between Lyndon B. Johnson (with running mate Hubert Humphrey) on the Democrat side, and Barry Goldwater (with running mate William Miller) on the Republican side. Johnson beat Goldwater by a good margin. Johnson received 486 electoral votes to Goldwater’s 52, and he carried 44 states (plus Washington, D.C.) to Goldwater’s 6. Just in case you’re concerned about popular vote, Johnson kind of swept that, too – winning 61.1% of the popular vote.

There are pros and cons to both of these bumper stickers. Goldwater does a good thing by putting his picture on his – no matter what your mug looks like you want voters to know the faces of the guys they have to vote for. LBJ does a good thing by putting a rhyming slogan on his bumper sticker. “LBJ for the USA” has a nice ring to it. They both use kind of icky colors, but color matching wasn’t invented yet, so we cannot be sure that these photos properly depict the actual shade of these pieces of political schwag. The orangey-red is much more appealing than the goldish green, no matter which way you cut it.

The 1984 presidential election came down to Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush versus Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro. The statistics for the election were similar in proportion to the 1964 election. Reagan-Bush received 525 electoral votes to Mondale-Ferraro’s 13, carried 49 states to the opposition’s 1 (plus Washington, D.C.), and won 58.8% of the popular vote.

This was a ground-breaking election in that Geraldine Ferraro was the first female to run for Vice President. Bumper sticker-wise, they were pretty cut-and-dry.

Obviously, it is easier to read the Reagan-Bush sticker. White text on a red background is hard to see from a car on the highway. Also, Reagan and Bush’s names are on the same level on their bumper sticker, while Mondale’s name appears above Ferraro’s on their bumper sticker. Sheer coincidence, or a strategic ploy to undermine Ferraro’s role in the campaign? Probably the former, but we love a good conspiracy theory.

The 2008 presidential election was a little closer than the previous two, but since it was the most recent it is worth mentioning. This election came down to the now-President Barack Obama (with running mate Joe Biden) and Republican candidate John McCain (with running mate Sarah Palin). Obama won 365 electoral votes as opposed to McCain’s 173, 52.9% of the popular vote, and carried 28 states (plus Washington, D.C.).

These are the standard bumper stickers that floated around during the campaign. This was also a ground-breaking election in that Barack Obama became the first African-American president in the history of the U.S. Hence the “Yes We Can” advertisements that also made appearances during the election. There is certainly something to be said for a catchy and emotionally compelling slogan.

With the increasing availability of custom-printed bumper stickers, there is the possibility of “rogue advertising” and you can order your own political message to put on a bumper. There is a world of possibility with custom labels these days, which should change the face of political advertising forever. At this time Romania also immediately organized this routine event. Presidential election held in 2019 will be the determination of the fate of Romanian people in the next 10 years. Is this new president will provide Autostrazi in every place, or also provide a uniform water supply throughout the region.