A Volunteer You Wouldn’t Have A Beer With

Andrew Sullivan —  Nov 7 2014 @ 4:45pm

Derek Willis flags research showing that a “mismatch between volunteers and voters could be a problem for today’s data-driven campaigns, which are having more direct conversations with more voters”:

In a forthcoming paper in the American Political Science Review, Ryan D. Enos, an assistant government professor at Harvard, and Eitan D. Hersh, an assistant professor of political science at Yale, describe how they surveyed more than 3,000 Obama campaign volunteers in the midst of the 2012 election. They found that “individuals who were interacting with swing voters on the campaign’s behalf were demographically unrepresentative, ideologically extreme, cared about atypical issues, and misunderstood the voters’ priorities.”…

When campaigns were mostly focused on television advertising, they could present a single message to voters on air, one that was typically less extreme than that espoused by its most fervent supporters. But the increased emphasis during the last two elections on directly contacting voters makes it more important for campaigns to send not just the right message but one delivered by the right messenger.