Radio Public Service Announcements and Voter Participation Among Native Americans: Evidence from Two Field Experiments
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Although similar to other U.S. minorities in terms of socio-economic status and political interest, Native Americans are more dispersed geographically and much less likely to vote. This pattern suggests that at least part of the disparity in turnout might be due to Native Americans’ lower exposure to statewide and national mobilization campaigns. To test this idea, a randomized experiment was conducted in order to evaluate the effectiveness of a radio campaign that encouraged Native Americans to vote. In 2008 and 2010, experiments were conducted across a total of 85 radio markets spanning more than a dozen states. Results suggest that this nonpartisan radio campaign increased turnout among registered Native American voters in both elections, although the estimated effects fall short of conventional levels of statistical significance.
KeywordsTurnout Elections Mobilization Mass media
The authors are grateful to Thea Lawton, who helped coordinate the Koahnic outreach campaign, and to Peter Aronow, Alexander Coppock, James Gimpel, and Amber Spry, who provided technical assistance and offered helpful suggestions. We thank the Carnegie Corporation, which funded this research, and Catalist, which provided the voter files used to assess voter turnout.
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