The Vicious Cycle: The Exclusion of Low Socioeconomic Status Voters from Mobilization Efforts
27 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2011 Last revised: 8 Aug 2011
Date Written: 2011
In theory, democratic political systems are created to insure equality amongst their citizenry through universal suffrage. In reality, there is very little equality between those who vote and those who do not. From the study of mass behavior, we know that the affluent and educated vote. From the literature, we also know that campaigns intentionally mobilize these particular voters because they vote. Poor and uneducated voters are disregarded by campaigns and for this reason they do not participate. In this paper I ask, will low socioeconomic status voters participate, if they are mobilized? I explore the effects of a non-partisan “Get-Out-the-Vote” personal canvassing campaign on individual, poor and uneducated, low propensity voters. Using a randomized field experiment, I find that individual, low propensity and low socioeconomic status voters who are personally contacted and encouraged to vote participate at significantly higher rates than those who are not.
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