Quarterly Journal of Political Science > Vol 3 > Issue 1

Do Community-Based Voter Mobilization Campaigns Work Even in Battleground States? Evaluating the Effectiveness of MoveOn's 2004 Outreach Campaign

Joel A. Middleton, Yale University, USA, Donald P. Green, Yale University, USA,
 
Suggested Citation
Joel A. Middleton and Donald P. Green (2008), "Do Community-Based Voter Mobilization Campaigns Work Even in Battleground States? Evaluating the Effectiveness of MoveOn's 2004 Outreach Campaign", Quarterly Journal of Political Science: Vol. 3: No. 1, pp 63-82. http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/100.00007019

Published: 31 Mar 2008
© 2008 J. A. Middleton and D. P. Green
 
Subjects
Political participation,  Voting behavior,  Interest groups
 

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In this article:
Moveon
Method and Analysis
Results
Discussion and Conclusions
Appendix
References

Abstract

One of the hallmarks of the 2004 presidential election was the unusual emphasis on face-to-face voter mobilization, particularly face-to-face mobilization conducted within neighborhoods or social networks. Unlike previous studies of face-to-face voter mobilization, which have focused largely on nonpartisan campaigns conducted during midterm or local elections, this study assesses the effects of a campaign organized by MoveOn.org, an organization that allied itself with the Democratic Party in 2004 to aid presidential candidate John Kerry. A regression discontinuity analysis of 46,277 voters from 13 swing states demonstrates that neighbor-to-neighbor mobilization substantially increased turnout among target voters during the 2004 presidential election. Contact with MoveOn volunteers increased turnout by approximately nine percentage-points. This finding corroborates experimental findings showing the effectiveness of door-to-door canvassing but contradicts results suggesting that such mobilization is ineffective in the context of high-salience elections.

DOI:10.1561/100.00007019

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DOI: 10.1561/100.00007019_supp