The Impact of Campaign Visits on Predicted Voter Choice in the 2016 Presidential Election

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Virginia Tech


This thesis conducted research on the impact of campaign visits on levels of predicted voter choice within the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. Data on discrete events throughout the campaign were collected to first determine the impact of particular newsworthy events on predicted voter choice. The data show that the impact of these events dissipates prior to Election Day, leading to a minimal impact on voter decision making. Additionally, data were analyzed on the occurrence of both candidate and surrogate visits, attempting to add to the field of research regarding the impact of campaign visits on voters. Throughout the analysis, both safe and swing states were taken into consideration, to determine if campaigns have a similar impact in different types of states. Overall, fourteen individual states were examined, providing a rather small sample size, but focusing on where campaigns were concentrated most. The results showed that the minimal effects hypothesis is still mostly affirmed, but that candidate visits appear to have a greater influence on predicted voter choice than do surrogate visits, regardless of the popularity of the surrogate.



Campaign Surrogates