Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2307631
 
 

References (79)



 


 



Unresponsive and Unpersuaded: The Unintended Consequences of Voter Persuasion Efforts


Michael Bailey


Georgetown University - Department of Government

Daniel J. Hopkins


Georgetown University

Todd Rogers


Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

August 8, 2013


Abstract:     
Can randomized experiments at the individual level help assess the persuasive effects of campaign tactics? In the contemporary U.S., vote choice is not observable, so one promising research design involves randomizing appeals and then using a survey to measure vote intentions. Here, we analyze one such field experiment conducted during the 2008 presidential election in which 56,000 registered voters were assigned to persuasion in person, by phone, and/or by mail. Persuasive appeals by canvassers had two unintended consequences. First, they reduced responsiveness to the follow-up survey, lowering the response rate sharply among infrequent voters. Second, various statistical methods to address the resulting biases converge on a counter-intuitive conclusion: the persuasive canvassing reduced candidate support. Our results allow us to rule out even small effects in the intended direction and thus illustrate the backlash that attempts at inter-personal persuasion can engender.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 56

Keywords: Persuasion, campaign effects, U.S. presidential elections, missing data, field experiments

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Date posted: August 10, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Bailey, Michael and Hopkins, Daniel J. and Rogers, Todd, Unresponsive and Unpersuaded: The Unintended Consequences of Voter Persuasion Efforts (August 8, 2013). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2307631 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2307631

Contact Information

Michael Bailey
Georgetown University - Department of Government ( email )
ICC, Suite 681
Washington, DC 20057-1034
United States
202-687-6021 (Phone)
202-687-5858 (Fax)
Daniel J. Hopkins (Contact Author)
Georgetown University ( email )
ICC, Suite 681
Washington, DC 20057-1034
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.danhopkins.org
Todd Rogers
Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )
79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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