How To Increase Voter Turnout Ns Dg Edits

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