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Does the Message Matter? A Field Experiment on Political Party Recruitment

  • Jessica Robinson Preece (a1) and Olga Bogach Stoddard (a2)

Do men and women respond to various party recruitment messages similarly? Working with the Utah County Republican Party, we designed a field experiment in which we invited over 11,600 male and female party activists to attend a free, party-sponsored “Prospective Candidate Information Seminar” by randomizing different invitation messages. We found that women were half as likely as men to respond to recruitment—log on to the seminar website for more information, register for the seminar, and attend the seminar. While we found some suggestive evidence about what recruitment messages may particularly motivate women or men vis-à-vis a control message, our findings are inconclusive because of a low response rate. This first attempt to experimentally test gendered reactions to recruitment in a sample of active party supporters provides a valuable baseline for future research.

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David Broockman . 2014. “Mobilizing Candidates: Political Actors Strategically Shape the Candidate Pool with Personal Appeals.” Journal of Experimental Political Science 1 (2).

E. A. Cardy 2005. “An Experimental Field Study of the GOTV and Persuasion Effects of Partisan Direct Mail and Phone Calls.” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 601 (1): 2840.

Susan Carroll , and Kira Sanbonmatsu . 2013. More Women Can Run: Gender and Pathways to the State Legislatures. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

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D. Niven 1998. “Party Elites and Women Candidates: The Shape of Bias.” Women and Politics 19 (2): 5780.

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Journal of Experimental Political Science
  • ISSN: 2052-2630
  • EISSN: 2052-2649
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-experimental-political-science
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