Motivational messages: Direct contact and turnout
The following project attempts to connect one type of campaigning, direct contact, to voter turnout. Direct contact is defined as any type of campaign communication that is directed from the campaign at an individual voter. Most direct contacts are either telephone calls or direct mail pieces. The working assumption is that campaign activities matter in determining voter turnout apart from the demographic, political, and psychological characteristics of individual voters. Four congressional districts, two from 1994 and two from 1996, are chosen for analysis. Data is collected on the direct contact efforts of the eight campaigns taking place within the four congressional districts. The direct contact information is then coded onto voter files containing the actual turnout information, age, and party registration of each voter. Using logistic regression, the effects of direct contact are analyzed while controlling for past voter history, age, and party affiliation.