Mobilization and voter turnout: Should canvassers worry about the weather?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article melds a well-studied area of research (political mobilization effects on voter turnout) with a subject rarely discussed in political science (the effects of meteorological variability on mood, productivity, and fatigue) to argue that weather at the time of mobilization influences individual voters' turnout odds relative to other contacted voters. Using panel data totaling 39,769 registered voters contacted by unions across 14 months and five elections, quantitative analysis is used to measure the effects of temperature, seasonableness, and precipitation during contact on vote likelihood, controlling for known turnout influences. Results indicate that variations in all three weather conditions during contact affect vote odds. Mobilization effects are weaker as temperatures rise and weather becomes unseasonably hot; mobilization is also less successful as precipitation increases. Outcomes vary by contact type; door-to-door visits are more negatively influenced by hotter and less seasonable temperatures, whereas phone calls are more negatively affected by higher precipitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)580-586
Number of pages7
JournalPS - Political Science and Politics
Volume46
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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