Interesting, this is actually based on a study that was run I believe out of the University of Chicago on voter turnout and loss aversion in voting.
Everyone says voter turnout is low, and that’s true, but its actually higher than tradition political economics would have you believe because of the marginal benefits to one voter over the whole.
Since there is some effect of loss aversion/voter shame innately within the voter process the theory was that you could increase voter participation through various threats, such as publicly publishing their voter participation record.
And it worked–I believe the study was in Ohio and Michigan. So it’s really no surprise that campaigns would seek to take advantage of these results.
I received a mailer from Save Birth Control in Illinois that graded my voting habits….the records are clearly wrong, I did vote in an election which they have me not voting in. And a comparison of my votes to my neighborhood from America Votes which shows me as more likely to vote than my neighbors.
I like neither of these mailers because they feel invasive. clearly all direct mail is based on a voter file that has information about me. but this feels more personal and in my face. and I don’t like it.
Anon and Reality Check are correct. This is straight out of the experimental literature. These types of strategies work, so both parties are going to them more and more. A good book on the subject is Issenberg’s The Victory Lab.
Again, for everyone appalled by this…these aren’t for you. People who read political blogs about state and local politics are so into the weeds on politics that they likely decided who they were voting for before the primary.
These are for drop off voters…and it has been proven that this strategy works in both theory and practice. So while it might be an ugly strategy, remember everyone: Not one campaign is interested in persuading any voter who is commenting on Capfax–including me–so relax.
If you’re a new voter, or from an immigrant family or newly registered….it’s just their way of saying Hello. How this is not construed as a scare tactic is a little hard to imagine. Very creepy indeed.
That will keep many of the African-American Chicago voters in line. Strike fear in their minds so they will be afraid not to vote Democrat this election. Desperate times demand desperate measures. Barack doesn’t want to see his own home state go red for governor and wind up being embarrassed nationally.
Coffee cup - you’re not from around here, are you? If you were, you’d know that African American communities have the lowest rates of early or mail voting. The ones most likely do take advantage of this are middle and upper middle class liberals - (lakefront liberal types). Why is that? The U.S. mail isn’t trusted by many. Election day in AA communities is still an event - largely stemming from the history of being denied the right to vote in the South.
The company (or middle school students) who are compiling the past voting records that several people on this blog have already said are waay off base accuracy wise may be being paid a little too much by the Democratic Party of Illinois.