Tag Archives: voting and elections

Personality and Civic Engagement: An Integrative Framework for the Study of Trait Effects on Political Behavior

We cannot understand the effects of personality without accounting for the environment, and we cannot understand the effects of the environment without accounting for personality. Political scientists pay very little attention to personality when they study political behavior. Instead, they prefer to look at environmental variables (campaign spending, personal income, personal education, candidate quality, electoral […]

Using Experiments to Estimate the Effects of Education on Voter Turnout

Education does, indeed, have a robust causal effect on voter turnout. Suppose you’re in a room full of people and you want to know which of them are most likely to be active voters, but you’re not allowed to ask them about their political activity. The best question you can ask them: How many years […]

No Middle Ground: How Informal Party Organizations Control Nominations and Polarize Legislatures

Parties control the public behavior of their office holders by acting as gatekeepers to political office The debate on the influence of political parties on the political process until recently has been restricted to parties in government.  Scholars have focused their debate primarily on the impact of party on the actions of a legislator in the […]

Campaign Communications in U.S. Congressional Elections

The authors have identified a cheap, easy way to capture a fuller sample of current campaign messages. We’ve long known that most voters pay little attention to campaign rhetoric; they pay far more attention to partisanship, incumbency, and other easily accessible considerations (although rhetoric certainly has its place). Still, candidates work hard to develop arguments […]

Do Electoral Quotas Work after They Are Withdrawn? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in India

Women are five times more likely to win in post-quota seats than in other seats. Chew on that. Five times more likely. Women and minorities have a tough time winning American elections. Although half of Americans are female, only 15% of Congress is. Although only 69% of Americans are white, 89% of state legislators and […]

Moral Bias in Large Elections: Theory and Experimental Evidence

In late 2003, Howard Dean lamented that southern white guys with confederate flags on their trucks ought to be voting for Democrats; after all, it’s the Democrats who want to help the working classes. Folks like Dean think that these southern white guys are being duped by wealthy upper-crust Republicans, who trick the southerners into […]

Does Voting History Matter? Analysing Persistence in Turnout

Yes, voting is habit-forming, but to a lesser extent than reported previously. Denny and Doyle have a straightforward point in this article: Yes, voting is habit-forming, but to a lesser extent than reported previously. In a widely discussed article, Gerber, Green, and Shachar (2003) reported that voting in one election raises the probability of voting […]

Who is Mobilized to Vote? A Re-Analysis of 11 Field Experiments

Efficient campaign managers should identify these fence-sitters and mobilize only them Recent randomized experiments have shown that door-to-door mobilization efforts can have massive payoffs, boosting turnout by 7 to 10 percentage points among those targeted. But although previous studies have shown that mobilization has a large aggregate effect, they have not shown whether mobilization effects […]