Timing Is Everything? Primacy and Recency Effects in Voter Mobilization Campaigns


Costas Panagopoulos

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Panagopoulos, Costas (2010) "Timing Is Everything? Primacy and Recency Effects in Voter Mobilization Campaigns," Political Behavior 33(1): 79-93. DOI: 10.1007/s11109-010-9125-x.
The timing of message delivery in political campaigns is a key component of strategy. Yet studies that examine the impact of message timing on political behavior are surprisingly rare. Although one recent study finds that appeals delivered closer to Election Day will be most effective (Nickerson, American Journal of Political Science 51(2):269–282, 2007), methodological considerations render this conclusion tentative and suggest the impact of message timing remains an open question. In this paper I report the results of a randomized field experiment designed to compare the mobilization effects of nonpartisan messages delivered via commercial phone banks at different points during a campaign cycle. The results of the experiment, conducted during the November 2005 municipal elections in Rochester, New York, suggest calls delivered early on during a campaign cycle can also be effective.
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United States - NY
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