The Effects of Judicial Campaign Messages on Voter Mobilization: An Experimental Study
32 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009 Last revised: 18 Aug 2009
Date Written: 2009
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: Suggested Citation