Wednesday, May 3, 2017



"From a candidate’s perspective, research has shown that more personal, direct communication with the voters (ie. knocking on doors or live phone calls, as opposed to television ads) increases motivation, and consequently, turnout. One study found that it’s purely the social interaction that has the potential to mobilize them to get to the polls - these interactions don’t change a voter’s mind on the issues. The community aspect of it is purely the reason that motivates."

"What about online communities? A 61-million person study in 2010 found that messages of political mobilization sent to users on Facebook directly impacted their political affiliation and voting behavior. Not only this, but their friends, family, and extended social network were impacted by the messages that only they received, proving that online social networks have enormous potential to motivate people to vote."
Bond, Robert M., Christopher J. Fariss, Jason J. Jones, Adam D. I. Kramer, Cameron Marlow, Jaime E. Settle, and James H. Fowler, “A 61-million-person experiment in social influence and political mobilization,” Nature 489, 7415 (2012): 295-98, US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, Web, <>

"Asian American voters. This is a demographic with, historically, the lowest turnout. Asian Americans, along with Latinos, are two of the fastest growing groups in America. The potential for voter turnout among these two groups is huge. But all too often, Asian Americans are ignored during campaigning. "

"Hispanic voters. Turnout for Hispanic voters is generally low, but this past election, Democrats took their vote for granted when they shouldn’t have. There was a record number of eligible Hispanic voters in 2016, and millennials made up almost half of that."

"To motivate nonvoters, especially unpredictable nonvoters, we need to focus on how many others are getting to the polls. It’s important to make it a social activity. Candidates will have to listen to this advice, as well, and engage in more direct contact with the voters during campaigning."

"When it comes to voting, people will be more likely to vote when they think a lot of other people are voting."
Gerber, Alan S., and Todd Rogers, “Descriptive Social Norms and Motivation to Vote: Everybody’s Voting and so Should
You,” The Journal of Politics 71.1 (2009): 178-91, Web. 10 Mar. 2017, <>, p.178, p.187
Rogers, Todd, Craig R. Fox, and Alan S. Gerber, “Rethinking Why People Vote: Voting as Dynamic Social Expression,” The Behavioral Foundations of Policy, Ed. Eldar Shafir, N.p.: n.p., n.d, 1-20, Web, <>, p. 6.


Research by Professor Ellen Shearer and the Medill School of Journalism