I idly recorded those in support of Donald J. Trump until, after the first few days, the number approached 100. I eventually lost count.Yes, it does occur to him that he might not be conducting a particularly scientific survey of voter opinion in America:
Those in support of Hillary Clinton were comparatively easy to keep track of: I traveled nearly 2,500 miles before I saw a single one.
By the end of my trip, I’d spotted a whopping five.
The lopsided tally is at least partly a consequence of my route. Draw a sagging, squiggly line from Portland, Ore., to Cleveland, and that’s roughly the path I took, riding my 1973 BMW R75/5 mainly on back roads and quiet highways: State Route 14 and U.S. Route 12 in Washington and Idaho, State Route 43 in Montana, U.S.-36 through Kansas and Missouri....Yet the concept of a representative sample isn't particularly important to him:
Most of the states I visited -- Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri -- lean Republican, no doubt skewing the yard-sign count in Mr. Trump’s favor. I also spent much of the trip in rural areas, where Mr. Trump has found more support than Mrs. Clinton.
Still, the route alone would not fully explain his utter dominance of the pastures, lawns and embankments that formed the margins of my field of vision.No, you dolt -- the route alone explains it precisely. You were in Trump Country. Before it was Trump Country, it was Romney Country, and McCain Country, and Bush Country.
Here's a county-by-county map of 2012 electoral results. Remember, the red stands for Romney, the guy who lost:
Hiltner's route passes through a lot of red land -- it just doesn't pass though a lot of votes. Hiltner may be unaware of this, but not a lot of people live in rural America. Tiny, blue Massachusetts has eleven times as many people as massive, red Wyoming. (Do we want to break it to Hiltner that blue states such as New York, California, Illinois, and Michigan are even more full of voters than Massachusetts?)
There's one other reason Hiltner might not have seen a lot of Clinton signs on his rural bike trip: fear. I live in a big city, but if I were a rural Democrat, I'm not sure I'd want to put up a Clinton sign. Take another look at that Boston Globe article with the Trump fans threatening intimidation of minority voters at the polls, and talking of a possible violent uprising if their guy doesn't win. Would you want to risk riling these people up if you lived in an area where they're the majority?