Skip to main content
×
×
Home

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

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

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.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Abramson, Paul, Aldrich, John, and Rohde, David. 2011. Change and Continuity in the 2008 and 2010 Elections. Washington, DC: CQ Press.
Bass, Joby O. 2009. “Posted: Reading the Landscape of the Domestic Political Campaign Signs.” Journal of Cultural Geography 26 (2): 223–41.
Beck, Paul, Dalton, Russell, Huckfeldt, Robert, and Nichols, Stephen M.. 1994. “The Social-Embededness of Political Cleavages.” Unpublished manuscript.
Campbell, Angus. 1966. “Surge and Decline: A Study of Electoral Change.” In Elections and the Political Order, eds. Campbell, A., Converse, P. E., Miller, W. E., and Stokes, D. E.. New York: Wiley.
Claassen, Ryan L. 2008. “Testing the Reciprocal Effects of Campaign Participation.” Political Behavior 30 (3): 277–96.
Donovan, Todd, Tolbert, Caroline J., and Smith, Daniel A.. 2009. “Political Engagement, Mobilization, and Direct DemocracyPublic Opinion Quarterly 73 (1): 98118.
Flanigan, William, and Zingale, Nancy. 2010. Political Behavior of the American Electorate, 12th ed. Washington, DC: CQ Press.
Fowler, James. 2006. “Habitual Voting and Behavioral Turnout.” Journal of Politics 68 (2): 335–44.
Gerber, Alan, Green, Donald, and Shachar, Ron. 2003. “Voting May Be Habit Forming: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment.” American Journal of Political Science 47 (3): 540–50.
Glaser, William A. 1962. “Fluctuations in Turnout.” In Public Opinion and Congressional Elections, eds. McPhee, William and Glaser, William. New York: Free Press of Glencoe.
Green, Donald, and Gerber, Alan. 2008. Get Out the Vote! How to Increase Voter Turnout. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.
Hawkings, D., and Nutting, B.. 2003. CQ's Politics in America 2004: The 108th Congress. Washington, DC: CQ Press.
Hill, David. 2006. American Voter Turnout: An Institutional Perspective. Boulder, CO: Westview.
Huckfeldt, Robert. 1986. Politics in Context: Assimilation and Conflict in Urban Neighborhoods. New York: Agathon.
Huckfeldt, Robert, Beck, Paul Allen, Dalton, Russell J., and Levine, Jeffrey. 1995. “Political Environments, Cohesive Social Groups, and the Communication of Public Opinion.” American Journal of Political Science 39: 1025–54.
Huckfeldt, Robert, and Sprague, John. 1992. “Political Parties and Electoral Mobilization: Political Structure, Social Structure, and the Party Canvass.” American Political Science Review 86 (1): 7086.
Laband, David, Pandit, Ram, Sophocleus, John, and Laband, Anne M.. 2009. “Patriotism, Pigskins, and Politics: An Empirical Examination of Expressive Voting Behavior.” Public Choice 138 (1): 97108.
Lacy, Dean. 2001. “A Theory of Non-Separable Preferences in Survey Responses.” American Journal of Political Science 45 (2): 239–58.
MacKuen, Michael, and Brown, Courtney. 1987. “Political Context and Attitude Change.” American Political Science Review 81 (2): 471–90.
Makse, Todd, and Sokhey, Anand. 2010. “Revisiting the Divisive Primary Hypothesis: 2008 and the Clinton-Obama Nomination Battle.” American Politics Research 38 (2): 233–65.
Mutz, Diana C. 2002. “The Consequences of Cross-Cutting Networks for Political Participation.” American Journal of Political Science 46 (4): 838–55.
Mutz, Diana C. 2006. Hearing the Other Side: Deliberative versus Participatory Democracy. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Panagopolous, Costas. 2009. “Street Fight: The Impact of A Street Sign Campaign on Voter Turnout.” Electoral Studies 28 (2): 309–13.
Plutzer, Eric. 2002. “Becoming a Habitual Voter: Inertia, Resources, and Growth in Young Adulthood.” American Political Science Review 96 (1): 4156.
Putnam, Robert D. 1966. “Political Attitudes and the Local Community.” American Political Science Review 60 (3): 640–54.
Sanders, Keith R., and Kaid, Lynda Lee. 1981. “Political Rallies: Their Uses and Effects.” Communication Studies 32 (1): 111.
Verhulst, Joris, and Walgrave, Stefaan. 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? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed