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Mobilization Strategies of the Democrats and Republicans, 1956-2000

Joseph Gershtenson
Political Research Quarterly
Vol. 56, No. 3 (Sep., 2003), pp. 293-308
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc. on behalf of the University of Utah
DOI: 10.2307/3219790
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3219790
Page Count: 16
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Mobilization Strategies of the Democrats and Republicans, 1956-2000
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Abstract

Although democracies offer citizens the opportunity to participate in their own governance, not all individuals do so. As intermediaries between elected officials and the public, one of the primary functions of political parties is to mobilize support for their candidates. Using NES data, I examine the strategic nature of party contacting over the 1956-2000 period. I find that both parties target individuals whose personal characteristics make them more predisposed to be politically active, individuals likely to support the party's candidates, individuals more capable of influencing others, and individuals in areas with competitive elections. However, these general tendencies exhibit variation across time and party. Most notably, party contacting behavior has adapted to developments in the political/party system including the upheavals in American politics during the 1960s.

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