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Party affiliations notably absent from campaign signs


In Denver Thursday night, it was clearly a case of Democrats versus Republicans.

And it used to be that a lot of campaign signs would have the candidate's party proudly displayed for all to see -- but take a look around.  It's not like that anymore.

Why are candidates keeping their political party on the down-low?

Democrats and Republicans alike are proud of their political parties, but these days, more than a third of all voters describe themselves as independents.  So while we're seeing the candidate's names front and center on their signs, the Republican and Democrat part may not be there at all.

Richard Carmona, running for U.S. Senate, is a Democrat.  But you wouldn't know from his sign, which doesn't mention his political party.

Why leave it off?

"Well, I think there are a lot of stylistic decisions with signs just like red and blue, yellow fonts or party logo," said D.B. Mitchell of the Arizona Democratic Party.

But it isn't just the Democrats who are not putting their party identification on their campaign signs.

On a Mitt Romney for President sign, you have to dig way into the fine print to discover he is running as a Republican.

And guess what:  Congressman Jeff Flake, who is running against Richard Carmona for the U.S. Senate -- he's a Republican, but his party name isn't on his sign either.

The state G.O.P. says it's a way to try to appeal to voters who aren't members of a political party.

"I think Republicans in many ways appeal to independent voters who have not selected a party, but we think Republican values would appeal to many independent voters," said Tim Sifert of the Arizona Republican Party.

The political parties and candidates pay attention to every detail on their signs.  How about voters?

What we heard is maybe not having the party label on the sign will get people to follow the campaigns more closely.

"For people who do not know who they will vote for, perhaps that is the point, so they won't lean towards one party or the other..maybe they research the candidate outside the party," said Cristen Pennington of Phoenix.

Not mentioning you're a Democrat or a Republican -- you could call it a sign of the times.

Candidates from smaller parties -- Libertarians and Greens, tend to include their party names on campaign signs.  That's because they're trying to build awareness for their parties.  Many voters already have some knowledge of the differences between Republicans and Democrats.

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