Since the 2000 presidential election, voter education and mobilization have witnessed a renaissance in targeted contact and segmented messaging. Candidates, political parties, and interest groups have taken advantage of advances in electronic databases to divide and subdivide the electorate into different groups and have different messages and messengers for each subgroup of voters.This article takes up the question of whether or not personalized or segmented contact during a campaign is more successful at convincing voters than "generic" contact or no contact at all. Using data from a national survey of Latino registered voters in 2004, the authors examine the impact of being contacted by a coethnic messenger on support for the Republican and Democratic Parties. While some previous studies have examined voter turnout or vote choice, this article examines the deeper implications of coethnic contact, including support for public policy and candidate favorability. The authors find that when Latinos were contacted by non-Latino Republicans, they were significantly less likely to support Bush and Republican issues, but when Latinos were contacted by Latino Republicans, they were significantly more likely to support Bush and Republican issues. Democratic contact did not have a significant effect on support for Democratic policy, which remained very high among Latino voters.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science