Coming up for air & the noble South Dakota campaign postcard.

Sorry about the light posting lately. I’ve had my nose held hard on the grindstone without a free moment in-between work and more work over the past few weeks.

If I’m not plunking away on claims & other activity at the insurance office, I’m making a fleeting appearance at the Real Estate office while I work on a few things.  And it’s just otherwise nuts around these parts.  We had a first communion this weekend for my youngest, as he gets older day by day… It’s also the end of the school year, which my wife described at Lunch today as work, concert, work, concert, work, concert…

delivery_crewThere’s also that whole campaign printing & supply business of mine which is going like gangbusters.

As you can see here pictured to the left, my sign delivery team is hard at work, as we wait for a candidate to meet us this past weekend. We spent most of Saturday on the road after I had open houses for Real Estate in the morning.

I’d love to spend more time getting in-depth with what’s happening in South Dakota politics, but I find myself devoting my energies to “making hay while the sun is shining,”  and working with the candidates who are out there doing political campaign signs, and campaign postcards for the primary campaign season.

And that provides the basis for a post – that Political postcards are nothing new for South Dakota, as you might tell by one of my favorite political items in my personal collection:

coe crawford postcard

This is a South Dakota political postcard from 1908 – over 108 years old – regarding outgoing Governor, and US Senate Candidate Coe Crawford going to the US Senate after raising money for the State Treasury by taxing South Dakota Railroads.

It’s one of, if not the earliest example I’ve found for South Dakota. It’s a simple black & white 4×6 postcard. Obviously, they didn’t do full color 6 x 11 postcards with UV coating (as you can buy through *shameless plug*), but they didn’t have to punch a message through the amount of junk mail we all receive in these modern days.

Postcards had somewhat been in and out of vogue in South Dakota state politics, until State Democrat party Executive Director Rick Hauffe brought them back in the late 80’s/early 90’s, and (admittedly) he used them to effect against his opponents, in this case, select candidates for the SDGOP, as they received these giant postcards that not many people had seen before. If they weren’t effective in moving votes away from their opponents, it at least left some candidates trying to respond to the zingers that were thrown against them on a mass basis.

That coincided with when the pendulum last swung back for Democrats, allowing them to capture a slim majority in the State Senate for a single term.  And it was postcards that made it possible. Although, don’t look for a repeat anytime soon. Nowadays, Democrats are a pale reflection of what they once were, and the GOP is far more vigilant.

Since that time, postcards have become more and more a staple in many campaigns, as broadcast and newspaper advertising has increased in price, and electronic mediums for advertising have yet to catch fire for State, Legislative, and County level candidates. And, postcards are not such a scatter-shot approach as radio or newspaper advertising tends to be.

It’s like the difference between training a shotgun at a deer, or using a high power rifle on a target.

We read mainly about the negative postcards that are bandied about, and sometimes go for the jugular, but in reality, most candidates use them simply for name identification. With the ability to target the exact voters who have the highest likelihood to participate in an election, they arguably surpass all other methods of contacting the electorate on a targeted basis.

The lowly postcard. Since (at least) 1908 in South Dakota.