When Politics Hits Home

They haven't spoken since, he said, and he's not sure where things will stand after the election. "There's a part of it that's kind of amusing and also a part that's just kind of tragic," he said. "I think that this is one of the insidious repercussions of the division that's been created in the past few years."

Coping, With Humor

Some people simply have dueling lawn signs and car bumper stickers to display their allegiances. In other homes, the visual support has escalated.

Debbie Fuehrer of Rochester, Minn., said in an e-mail that she placed a signed picture of Kerry and running mate John Edwards on the inside of her front door. Her son Jason put a Bush sticker over Kerry's face, "much to my husband Jim's approval."

"We had a running battle of me placing the picture in prominent places around the house and then my son would remove Kerry's picture and hide it from me," she said. She also made her husband put his Bush picture in his workshop "since I didn't want it in the house."

"No matter who wins," she said, "there will be no peace and harmony in our household until we watch a Vikings game together."

There is also hope for a peaceful outcome. Amy Schmidt of Williamsburg, Va., said via e-mail she and her husband "bicker, fight, laugh, discuss, e-mail each other opposing views just to get under each other's skin."

But in the end, she said, they always get along. "We are able to agree to disagree," she said, "but politics and the upcoming elections do bring out the claws -- and some humor."

Others are just anxious for Election Day to come and go, and for a time when politics can take a backseat to other issues.

"I can't wait for the 3rd," Ken Block said. "At least then it's over and you've got to live with it."

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