DFA Night School: How To Increase Voter Turnout

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DFA Night School: How To Increase Voter Turnout

  1. 1. How to Increase Voter Turnout w/ Professor Donald Green September 3rd, 2008 Paid for by Democracy for America, www.democracyforamerica.com, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. Listen live on: Questions? [email_address] AIM: DFA Night School
  2. 2. Welcome to DFA Night School! <ul><li>Streaming live at: </li></ul><ul><li>Now Available on ITunes </li></ul><ul><li>Click here to subscribe: </li></ul>2 Questions? nightschool@democracyforamerica.com Questions? Email: [email_address] AIM Instant Message: DFA Night School DFA Chair Jim Dean
  3. 3. Tonight’s Trainers Matt Blizek Night School Host Democracy for America Donald Green Yale Professor & Author Director of the Institution for Social & Policy Studies 3 Questions? nightschool@democracyforamerica.com
  4. 4. Evidence vs. War Stories <ul><li>Why Study GOTV tactics? </li></ul><ul><li>- Millions spent each year on GOTV </li></ul><ul><li>- Rigorous evaluation of GOTV tactics helps campaigns avoid squandering resources </li></ul><ul><li>Randomized experimental design </li></ul><ul><li>- Voters randomly put into ‘Treatment’ & ‘Control’ groups </li></ul><ul><li>- Turnout is measured using public records instead of surveys or exit polls </li></ul>4 Questions? nightschool@democracyforamerica.com
  5. 5. What Works <ul><li>Make voters feel wanted </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The more personal the better </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t simply remind voters, motivate them! </li></ul><ul><li>-- Have authentic conversations & follow up! </li></ul><ul><li>Peer pressure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Let them know that voting is a matter of public record and that you’re watching </li></ul></ul>5 Questions? nightschool@democracyforamerica.com
  6. 6. What Doesn’t Work <ul><li>Short reminders have no effect </li></ul><ul><li>- Robo calls and email reminders do nothing to increase turnout </li></ul><ul><li>- Brief calls from commercial phone banks have weak effects </li></ul><ul><li>Just distributing info isn’t enough </li></ul><ul><li>- Distributing voter guides ineffective </li></ul>6 Questions? nightschool@democracyforamerica.com
  7. 7. Questions? <ul><li>Email: nightschool@democracyforamerica.com </li></ul><ul><li>Instant Message: </li></ul><ul><li>DFA Night School </li></ul>7 Questions? nightschool@democracyforamerica.com
  8. 8. Canvassing Shoe Leather Politics <ul><li>Canvassing Generates Votes </li></ul><ul><li>- 1 vote for every 14 contacts </li></ul><ul><li>Indirect persuasion </li></ul><ul><li>- A canvasser’s message spreads through a multi-voter household </li></ul>Cost Effectiveness Canvassing: $29 per vote 8 Questions? nightschool@democracyforamerica.com
  9. 9. Phonebanks Politics Meets Telemarketing <ul><li>‘ Robo Calls’ ineffective </li></ul><ul><li>- Doesn’t matter from whom </li></ul><ul><li>-1 vote per 1,000+ contacts </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial Phonebanks typically ineffective </li></ul><ul><li>- 1 vote per 180 contacts </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteer Phonebanks work </li></ul><ul><li>- 1 vote per 38 contacts </li></ul><ul><li>- Training & supervision needed for quality results </li></ul>Cost Effectiveness Volunteers: $38 per vote Commercial: $53-90 per vote 9 Questions? nightschool@democracyforamerica.com 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Voter Turnout Control Phone Calls
  10. 10. Direct Mail & Lit Drops <ul><li>Generally weak effect on turnout </li></ul><ul><li>No evidence of ‘synergy’ w/ other tactics </li></ul><ul><li>Lit Drops = 1 vote per 72 drops </li></ul><ul><li>Direct Mail = 1 vote per 333 pieces </li></ul><ul><li>Growing evidence that mail with no graphics and a simple civic duty message works best </li></ul>Cost Effectiveness Lit Drops: $46+ per vote Direct Mail: $67+ per vote 10 Questions? nightschool@democracyforamerica.com
  11. 11. Other GOTV Tactics <ul><li>Mass Media </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Targeted ads seem to have an effect: Example of Rock The Vote in 2004 & Spanish Language Radio in 2006 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Election Day events, Debates & Seminars </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make civic engagement engaging </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Email & Text Messages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Email does not increase turnout </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Text messages may work, but need more study </li></ul></ul>11 Questions? nightschool@democracyforamerica.com
  12. 12. Frontiers of GOTV Research <ul><li>Effects of social networks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Contact from family, friends, coworkers and other social ties has a strong effect </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Following up with “Yes” voters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Large effects of follow-up calls with those who earlier express an intention to vote </li></ul></ul><ul><li>‘ Shaming’ effect of publicizing turnout records </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Publishing, mailing, or distributing turnout records of voters and their neighbors produces large increases in turnout </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Voting as a habit </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For every 100 new voters mobilized in a given election, 33 go on to vote in the next election as well </li></ul></ul>12 Questions? nightschool@democracyforamerica.com
  13. 13. Questions? <ul><li>Email: </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Instant Message: </li></ul><ul><li>DFA Night School </li></ul>13 Questions? nightschool@democracyforamerica.com
  14. 14. Homework <ul><li>For more GOTV research visit: </li></ul><ul><li>http://research.yale.edu/GOTV/ </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct your own GOTV experiment! </li></ul>14 Questions? nightschool@democracyforamerica.com
  15. 15. Next Month on Night School <ul><li>Building Your Volunteer Base </li></ul><ul><li>September 10th, 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>www.democracyforamerica.com /volunteer </li></ul><ul><li>Canvassing & Phonebanking </li></ul><ul><li>September 17th, 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>www.democracyforamerica.com /canvass </li></ul>www.democracyforamerica.com/trainingrequest Request a DFA Campaign Training in 2009! 15 Questions? nightschool@democracyforamerica.com
  16. 16. Thank you for joining us! Need to catch up on earlier Night School presentations? Order previous semesters on DVD: https://democracyforamerica.com/contribute/nightschool Join the DFA Trust www.democracyforamerica.com/trust 16 Questions? nightschool@democracyforamerica.com

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