, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 97-113
Date: 08 Sep 2007

Mobilizing the Seldom Voter: Campaign Contact and Effects in High-Profile Elections

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

Decades of research suggests that campaign contact together with an advantageous socioeconomic profile increases the likelihood of casting a ballot. Measurement and modeling handicaps permit a lingering uncertainty about campaign communication as a source of political mobilization however. Using data from a uniquely detailed telephone survey conducted in a pair of highly competitive 2002 U.S. Senate races, we further investigate who gets contacted, in what form, and with what effect. We conclude that even in high-profile, high-dollar races the most important determinant of voter turnout is vote history, but that holding this variable constant reveals a positive effect for campaign communication among “seldom” voters, registered but rarely active participants who—ironically—are less likely than regular or intermittent voters to receive such communication.