It’s a real pleasure to read so many interesting essays on Ground Wars—books are meant to be used, and the discussions hosted here on Mobilizing Ideas show some of the many ways in which I hope the argument and research I’ve presented in my book will be put to use in different contexts.
All the essays confirm the main thesis advanced in Ground Wars. It goes basically like this—
1) American political campaigns today face a specific combination of increased media fragmentation, low and uneven interest in politics, and a high degree of partisan polarization that makes field operations—primarily pursued in the form of canvassing and phone banking—particularly appealing to campaign strategists.
2) Experimental research has shown that personalized contacts are particularly effective ways of mobilizing “lazy partisans” and may even help persuade some of the (rare) swing voters. Continue reading