Collin County, Texas, is consistently among the most Republican places on the planet. John McCain will win Collin County in November. I'll be voting for John McCain in November (and doing so with warm nostalgia for that day in 1996 when I pulled the lever for Bob Dole). If there is such a thing in America, this place where I live is McCain country.
Yet even living here, I have no idea what a John McCain bumper sticker looks like.
On the other hand, even here in Collin County, I see "Proud Collin County Democrat" bumper stickers tooling along U.S. 380, accompanied by "Obama" in various styles and colors. They may be outnumbered, but Collin County Democrats are enthusiastic. They think that they're going to be serving crow to their neighbors in November.
Bumper stickers are not televised debates or press releases or policy statements. They give no opportunity to communicate fact or to make a persuasive case. Bumper stickers are entirely emotive. To choose to display a bumper sticker is generally an emotional choice, and bumper stickers evoke emotion in the readers. That's why they are so important. People vote with their hearts, not with their heads. Head and heart may be in the same place—often are. But when head and heart collide, Americans vote with their hearts. A good bumper sticker builds emotional momentum by demonstrating to undecideds that the roadways are full of people who feel prideful and good about themselves in their choice of candidate. The invitation is there to join the group and be proud, confident, and enthusiastic with them. Bumper stickers evoke emotion in order to sell a candidate to the heart.
The Obama stickers certainly evoke an emotion in me—envy. I want to be enthusiastic about a presidential candidate. I want to check my touchscreen box on Election Day with pride, not with fatalistic resignation. My empty rear windshield tells the tale of a bewildered conservative Christian voter, flabbergasted that in a nation of three hundred million people we can't seem to locate a single engaging conservative leader qualified and willing to run for President of the United States.
I'm willing to predict it right now: Any GOP candidate who can't win the Collin County bumper sticker poll doesn't stand a dog's chance at the ballot box in November.