Falling Behind Is A Winning Strategy

When you’re raising money for a political campaign:

[Todd Rogers of Harvard and Don A. Moore of the University of California, Berkeley] conducted experiments in which they showed that online survey participants are more supportive of hypothetical preferred candidates if they are just behind in the polls instead of just ahead. These differences matter in the real world of campaigns, as the two professors show using fund-raising experiments conducted by the Democratic Governors’ Association and Anne Lewis Strategies, Inc. Emails from the D.G.A. saying that Rick Scott, the Republican candidate for governor in Florida, was ahead of the Democrat Charlie Crist in the polls were almost 50 percent more likely to result in a donation and raised approximately 60 percent more than those saying Mr. Scott was behind.