Protests Motivate Voters With Similar Concerns Research Indicates


Political protests can help frustrated citizens "blow off steam", but recent research demonstrates that it can also motivate candidates and voters to take part in the political process. A study conducted by Daniel Q. Gillion of the University of Pennsylvania and Sarah A. Soule of Stanford, found that political activism encourages candidates to run for elected office and that it can impact electoral success.

Wiley Publishing: "The objective of this study was to understand the effect of citizen mobilization on both electoral outcomes and on the likelihood that new candidates will enter races to challenge incumbent politicians."

"Results show that protests that express liberal issues lead to a greater percentage of the two‐party vote share for Democratic candidates, while protests that espouse conservative issues offer Republican candidates a greater share of the two‐party vote. Additionally, results indicated that protest shines a light on incumbent politicians’ failure to address constituent concerns, which leads quality candidates to enter subsequent races to challenge incumbent politicians."

Since the 2016 election of President Trump, progressives have been active in organizing a wide variety of protests around the country including the Women's March, the March for Science, and the March for Our Lives demonstrations, to name but a few. The research suggests that such rallies will help motivate liberal voters to turn out on November 6th just as the Tea Party protests helped Republicans in 2010 and 2014.

The abstract is online and the entire study will be published in an upcoming edition of Social Science Quarterly,


#research #politics

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