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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Levan, Carrie, The Vicious Cycle: The Exclusion of Low Socioeconomic Status Voters from Mobilization Efforts (2011). APSA 2011 Annual Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1901623

Carrie Levan (Contact Author)

Colby College ( email )

4000 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, ME 04901-8852
United States
2078595311 (Phone)

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