To be clear, our argument is not that campaigns, broadly speaking, do not matter. For example, candidates can determine the content of voters’ choices by changing their positions, strategically revealing certain information, and affecting media narratives — dynamics which are outside the scope of our analysis but could be affected by advertising. Campaigns can also effectively stimulate voter turnout. Our argument is not that campaigns do not influence general elections in any way, but that the direct persuasive effects of their voter contact and advertising in general elections are essentially zero.
September 26, 2017 at 7:00 AM EDT