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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.

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PS: Political Science & Politics
  • ISSN: 1049-0965
  • EISSN: 1537-5935
  • URL: /core/journals/ps-political-science-and-politics
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