Getting out the vote in the social media era: Are digital tools changing the extent, nature and impact of party contacting in elections?


Journal Article

© 2015, The Author(s) 2015. This paper compares the spread and impact of new digital modes of voter mobilization with more traditional methods (phone, mail and in person canvassing) in recent national elections in the US and UK. We develop hypotheses regarding the relative effects of online contacting and test them using election study data. Our findings show that while online contact is generally less frequent than the offline form in both countries, this gap is particularly pronounced in the UK. US campaigns also reach a much wider audience than their UK counterparts. In terms of impact, while offline forms remain most effective in mobilizing turnout, online messages are important for campaign participation, particularly among younger citizens when they are mediated through social networks.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Aldrich, JH; Gibson, RK; Cantijoch, M; Konitzer, T

Published Date

  • March 1, 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 22 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 165 - 178

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1460-3683

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1354-0688

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/1354068815605304

Citation Source

  • Scopus