When Do Campaign Effects Persist for Years? Evidence from a Natural Experiment

American Journal of Political Science, Forthcoming

40 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2019

See all articles by Kai Jäger

Kai Jäger

King’s College London - Department of Political Economy

Date Written: November 15, 2019

Abstract

A unique re-vote allows for a natural experiment to evaluate whether campaign effects can last for nearly a decade: A right-wing conservative party missed the five-percent threshold in a German state by a mere vote in 2007, but the Constitutional Court ordered a re-vote in a single precinct over potential election fraud. After a one-sided campaign focusing on law and order, the party’s vote share increased more than sixfold. By comparing the precinct with its direct surroundings, the study shows that the re-vote campaign had long-lasting effects on vote choice and broader security-sensitive behavior. Residents in the re-vote precinct installed more warning signs on their property to deter burglars. They were not more supportive of right-wing attitudes, but more likely to believe that election fraud reoccurred. Based on habitual-voting and social-norm theories, the study suggests that persuasion could be durable if candidates provide an unchallenged interpretation of political events.

Keywords: Election Campaigns, Canvassing, Long-Term Persuasion Effects, Natural Experiment, Social Norms, Election Fraud, Germany, Citizens in Rage (BIW), Alternative for Germany (AfD).

Suggested Citation

Jäger, Kai, When Do Campaign Effects Persist for Years? Evidence from a Natural Experiment (November 15, 2019). American Journal of Political Science, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3493250

Kai Jäger (Contact Author)

King’s College London - Department of Political Economy ( email )

Strand Building
London
United Kingdom

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
43
Abstract Views
455
PlumX Metrics