The Effects of Judicial Campaign Messages on Voter Mobilization: An Experimental Study

32 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009 Last revised: 18 Aug 2009

See all articles by Jeffrey A. Gottfried

Jeffrey A. Gottfried

University of Pennsylvania - Annenberg School for Communication

Eran N. Ben-Porath

affiliation not provided to SSRN

James L. Gibson

Washington University in St. Louis - Department of Political Science

Kathleen Hall Jamieson

University of Pennsylvania

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

This paper examines the real-time effects of various types of judicial campaign content, including informative, self-promoting advertising, on voter mobilization during the 2007 Pennsylvania judicial election. In an online experiment, subjects were randomly assigned to watch a video containing a form of campaign content, ranging from positive and self-promoting to negative and accusatory. The results show that subjects exposed to the informative, self-promoting ads voted at a higher rate than those in the other conditions. This relationship is mediated by knowledge gained about the candidates and perceived appropriateness of attacks in a judicial campaign. Conversely, there is no evidence for either mobilization or demobilization as a consequence of exposure to the negative campaign content.

Keywords: Judicial Election, Voter Turnout, Mobilization, Advertising, Campaign Messages, Experiment

Suggested Citation

Gottfried, Jeffrey A. and Ben-Porath, Eran N. and Gibson, James L. and Jamieson, Kathleen Hall, The Effects of Judicial Campaign Messages on Voter Mobilization: An Experimental Study (2009). APSA 2009 Toronto Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1449379

Jeffrey A. Gottfried (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - Annenberg School for Communication ( email )

Philadelphia, PA
United States

Eran N. Ben-Porath

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

James L. Gibson

Washington University in St. Louis - Department of Political Science ( email )

One Brookings Drive
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130
United States

Kathleen Hall Jamieson

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

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