Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Yard Sign Displays and the Enthusiasm Gap in the 2008 and 2010 Elections

  • Todd Makse (a1) and Anand E. Sokhey (a2)

In the run up to the 2010 midterm elections, pundits and politicos often talked of an “enthusiasm gap” between Republicans and Democrats. Although conventional treatments have typically equated these gaps with changes in turnout and the composition of the electorate, we argue that the term better describes the participatory patterns of highly engaged voters. Using multiple data sources, including a geocoded, county-wide study that tracked yard sign displays between 2008 and 2010, we examine the visible evidence of enthusiasm gaps in voters' neighborhoods. Our findings echo recent narratives, yet suggest that scholars have missed important dimensions in their examinations of these “wave” elections.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Joby O. Bass 2009. “Posted: Reading the Landscape of the Domestic Political Campaign Signs.” Journal of Cultural Geography 26 (2): 223–41.

Ryan L. Claassen 2008. “Testing the Reciprocal Effects of Campaign Participation.” Political Behavior 30 (3): 277–96.

Todd Donovan , Caroline J. Tolbert , and Daniel A. Smith . 2009. “Political Engagement, Mobilization, and Direct DemocracyPublic Opinion Quarterly 73 (1): 98118.

James Fowler . 2006. “Habitual Voting and Behavioral Turnout.” Journal of Politics 68 (2): 335–44.

Alan Gerber , Donald Green , and Ron Shachar . 2003. “Voting May Be Habit Forming: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment.” American Journal of Political Science 47 (3): 540–50.

Robert Huckfeldt , Paul Allen Beck , Russell J. Dalton , and Jeffrey Levine . 1995. “Political Environments, Cohesive Social Groups, and the Communication of Public Opinion.” American Journal of Political Science 39: 1025–54.

David Laband , Ram Pandit , John Sophocleus , and Anne M. Laband . 2009. “Patriotism, Pigskins, and Politics: An Empirical Examination of Expressive Voting Behavior.” Public Choice 138 (1): 97108.

Dean Lacy . 2001. “A Theory of Non-Separable Preferences in Survey Responses.” American Journal of Political Science 45 (2): 239–58.

Todd Makse , and Anand Sokhey . 2010. “Revisiting the Divisive Primary Hypothesis: 2008 and the Clinton-Obama Nomination Battle.” American Politics Research 38 (2): 233–65.

Diana C. Mutz 2002. “The Consequences of Cross-Cutting Networks for Political Participation.” American Journal of Political Science 46 (4): 838–55.

Diana C. Mutz 2006. Hearing the Other Side: Deliberative versus Participatory Democracy. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Costas Panagopolous . 2009. “Street Fight: The Impact of A Street Sign Campaign on Voter Turnout.” Electoral Studies 28 (2): 309–13.

Eric Plutzer . 2002. “Becoming a Habitual Voter: Inertia, Resources, and Growth in Young Adulthood.” American Political Science Review 96 (1): 4156.

Joris Verhulst , and Stefaan Walgrave . 2009. “The First Time Is the Hardest: A Cross-National and Cross-Issue Comparison of First-Time Protest Participants.” Political Behavior 31 (3): 455–84.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

PS: Political Science & Politics
  • ISSN: 1049-0965
  • EISSN: 1537-5935
  • URL: /core/journals/ps-political-science-and-politics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 1
Total number of PDF views: 12 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 77 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 19th August 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.