Getting a campaign on board – July update

Hi everyone – half the summer has flown by without a single research update from me, so I’m trying to catch up on all of my blogging! I spent the first month of the summer trying to iron out my research design and find campaigns that are willing to work with me to implement my field experiment. The process of trying to work with a campaign for an academic project has been slow at times, mostly because campaigns and researchers often have different goals. Since the main purpose of a campaign is to get a candidate elected, campaigns do not often care about gathering data for future use or long-term study. A lot of running around aside, I’ve been having a great time talking to local Democrats and campaign workers and I finally have a local campaign on board to work with me on my mail experiment.

In the next few weeks, I plan to finalize my treatment mailers and research protocol in order to resubmit my IRB approval. By the end of the month I hope to be ready to pilot test my mailer in order to make sure that there is no backlash against the candidate sending the mailer, as well as to get a closer look at the mechanisms behind the mailer’s effect. If all goes well, I’ll be able to use the results from my pilot test in my thesis to talk about what sort of reaction the mailers induced and how my results fit with the literature. I also plan on working to contact other campaigns to increase my sample size.

Hopefully by the end of the month I will have early results on the effectiveness of my mail technique!


  1. tnfeenstra says:

    This project sounds really interesting and it seems like you’re doing a really good job covering all of your bases and doing all of the necessary preparations. Although the stress from finding campaigns to work with you sounds like it can be overwhelming, I like that you’re keeping a positive attitude and enjoying the experience of talking with local Democrats. I’m sure you’re making many contacts in the process! And, I’m sure it will all be worth it in the end! Keep up the great work!