Mobilizing Pasadena Democrats: Measuring The Effects of Partisan Campaign Contacts
This paper examines the effect of an entire campaign using a randomized field experiment where the treatment consists of campaign decisions made by a campaign manager. In contrast to the majority of the field experiments found in the contemporary get-out-the-vote literature, this paper studies the actual behavior of a campaign within a particular election as opposed to studying particular mobilization tactics. Thus, the campaign itself chooses the method used to contact each individual within the randomly assigned treatment group. Contacts are made via face-to-face canvassing, phone calls, e-mails, and door hangers and consist of experienced volunteers making partisan appeals. We observe a large treatment effect of campaign contact despite a small number of face-to-face contacts, suggesting that the targeting strategy of the campaign manager is particularly effective.
Additional Information© 2010 Southern Political Science Association. Manuscript submitted 23 January 2009; Manuscript accepted for publication 31 March 2009. The authors would like to thank the Pasadena Area United Democratic Headquarters for providing this data and the opportunity to conduct a randomized experiment. We also thank Alexander Trechsel, Mark Franklin, Thad Hall, Guido Schwerdt, and other participants in the "Innovations in Research on Political Behaviour" workshop at the European University Institute for their comments about this research project.
Submitted - vtp_wp66.pdf