Political Behavior

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 97–113

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


    • Department of Political ScienceUniversity of Arkansas
  • Jay Barth
    • Department of PoliticsHendrix College
  • Martha Kropf
    • Department of Political ScienceUniversity of North Carolina—Charlotte
  • E. Terrence Jones
    • Department of Political Science and Public Policy AdministrationUniversity of Missouri—St. Louis
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11109-007-9042-9

Cite this article as:
Parry, J., Barth, J., Kropf, M. et al. Polit Behav (2008) 30: 97. doi:10.1007/s11109-007-9042-9


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.


Voter mobilizationVoter turnoutVoting behaviorCampaign effectsCampaign contact

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007