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Party Activists as Campaign Advertisers: Why the Ground Campaign Can’t Move to the Middle

October 22, 2018 @ 12:00 am

Party Activists as Campaign Advertisers: Why the Ground Campaign Can’t Move to the Middle

DateOctober 21, 2013

Time5:00am to 6:30am

Location
4357 Bunche Hall

Contact

Recent Presidential campaigns have emphasized recruiting workers to engage in direct voter contact. We develop a model of direct contact as a principal-agent problem. Unlike other political activists, workers engaged in “ground campaign” tactics are not merely a constituency; they are intermediaries between candidates and voters. As intermediaries, we argue, they are ill-suited to convey messages to general-election audiences. Through a partnership with Obama’s campaign, we interviewed approximately 4,000 workers as they engaged in direct contact. We show that workers who directly engaged swing voters on behalf of the Obama campaign were ideologically extreme, cared about different issues than the general public, and misunderstood the issues that voters care about. We further test whether the campaign was able to control its agents by the strategic recruitment or strategic placement of volunteers. We find no evidence that the campaign was able to employ these strategies and overcome its principal-agent problem. We conclude that it is unlikely that the individuals typically willing to act as volunteer surrogates are capable of conveying messages that benefit a strategic campaign.

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Details

Date:
October 22, 2018
Time:
12:00 am
Website:
/event/party-activists-campaign-advertisers-why-ground-campaign-cant-move-middle

Details

Date:
October 22, 2018
Time:
12:00 am
Website:
/event/party-activists-campaign-advertisers-why-ground-campaign-cant-move-middle