It seems there's something missing from this lengthy political campaign. It's the bumper stickers.
An article in the Chicago Sun-Times Monday pointed out that a 3-hour drive through the city and suburbs netted only two small Obama stickers on passing cars.
People just aren't pasting those one-time grassroots identifiers on their cars like they once did.
David Phillips wrote in the Detroit News that "the venerable bumper sticker has been relegated to the background."
He speculated that perhaps because more Americans are leasing their cars, they are less likely to take the risk of messing up the bumper and paying for it at the end of their contract.
The Sun-Times quotes a Evanston mechanic as saying that it's tricky getting bumpers clean after they've been stuck.
"It's a lot of trouble to get the stickers off," Geoffrey Smith said, adding that he has seen cars with as many 15 bumper stickers. "With painted bumpers, it leaves a film on there."
Maybe drivers just want to avoid incidents of road rage or vandalism to their vehicles.
Whatever the reason, it's far less common to drive past a car and know what the owner's politics are. You can guess.
One survey of the limited number of bumper stickers out there found that stickers supporting John McCain were more likely to be on domestic automobiles, while Barack Obama decals are more likely to pop up on imports. McCain draws more SUV and pickup drivers, BIGresearch, an Ohio firm, found.
In the end, by Wednesday the presidential bumper stickers will shout out "Winner" or "Loser," and some may opt to keep them on their cars as a statement of their ongoing support for their candidate. Others, it seems, will be dealing with a messy clean up, as will, perhaps, their chosen campaign.