NYU Politics Data Center

17th Annual Northeast Political Methodology Meeting at NYU

Registration closes Friday, April 28, 2017.


All events take place at the NYU Politics Department, Room 217.

19 W 4th Street, 2nd Floor (Get Google Maps directions here)

(Corner of W 4th Street and Mercer Street)



Friday, May 5, 2017


11:30 - 12:30: Lunch


12:30 - 02:00: Joshua L Kalla

Dept of Political Science, UC Berkeley

"The Minimal Persuasive Effects of Campaign Contact on Candidate Choice in General Elections: Evidence from 45 Experiments"

[Joint with with David Broockman, Stanford]

                         [Abstract]Significant theories of public opinion, polarization, and campaign finance hinge on how and whether campaign contact and advertising persuades Americans to vote differently. We argue that the best estimate of the marginal effects of campaign contact on Americans’ candidate choices in general elections is zero. First, a systematic meta-analysis of decades of exper- iments estimates an effect of campaign contact on vote choice in general elections of zero. Second, we present a series of original field experiments that together increase the quantity of statistical evidence in the literature about the persuasive effects of personal contact in gen- eral elections by 10-fold. In both the literature and our studies, we show an intriguing pattern wherein persuasion in general elections typically only appears when outreach is conducted far in advance of an election and measured immediately—but that this early persuasion decays rapidly, while contact close to election day does not even have immediate effects. Our findings raise new questions about the generalizability of studies conducted far from elections that measure outcomes immediately. Substantively, they may help explain why campaigns have turned away from trying to win over moderate voters and toward rousing the enthusiasm of existing supporters to turn out.


02:15 - 03:45: Michelle Torres and Patrick Tucker

Dept of Political Science, Wash U St Louis

"Pathways to Trump: Republican Primary Voters in 2017"

[Joint with Betsy Sinclair and Steve Smith]

                         [Abstract]The candidacy of Donald Trump has drawn considerable social science interest as a way to understand the interplay between attitudinal explanations, covariates, and momentum. In particular, arguments about the working class, personality, race, populism and Trump's domination of the media serve as competing (but not mutually exclusive) explanations for Trump's electoral success. In this paper we rely upon a unique monthly panel dataset to explore changing support for Republican presidential candidates over the primary season, test competing theories regarding the attitudinal shifts that propelled the Trump candidacy forward, and evaluate the influence of perceptions of success that respondents held about Trump and the decision to support him during the primaries.


04:00 - 05:30: Brian Schaffner

Dept of Political Science, UMass Amherst

"Explaining White Polarization in the 2016 Vote for Presdient: The Sobering Role of Racism and Sexism"

[Joint with Matthrew MacWilliams and Tatishe Nteta]

                         [Abstract]The 2016 presidential campaign witnessed the largest gap between the presidential vote preferences of college- and non-college educated whites since at least 1980. While many election post-mortems were quick to make note of this education gap among whites, explanations for the origins of this gap were a subject of greater debate. Two prominent explanations have been offered. The first is that white working class Americans have been left behind during the economic recovery that took place during the Obama presidency. Trump’s populist economic message, focusing on protectionism and other policies to help working people, resonated with this group. A second explanation is that Trump’s willingness to make explicitly racist and sexist appeals during the campaign, coupled with the presence of an African American president and the first major party female nominee, made racism and sexism a dividing line in the vote in this election. This led less educated whites, who tend to exhibit higher levels of sexism and racism, to support Trump, while more educated whites were more supportive of Clinton. In this paper, we use data from a national survey conducted during the final week of October to adjudicate between these explanations. Using unique measures of attitudes on racism and sexism, coupled with a question to tap into dissatisfaction with economic conditions, we are able to determine to what extent each of these explanations helped to explain vote choices in 2016 and, ultimately, whether either of these explanations can explain the education gap in vote choices among whites. We find that while economic dissatisfaction was part of the story, racism and sexism were much more important and can explain about two-thirds of the education gap among whites in the 2016 presidential vote. [Paper] [Suppl]


05:30 - 06:30: Post Papers Discussion Event


06:45              Dinner for Speakers and Invited Faculty Guests

For more information, please contact Jonathan Nagler

Previous NEMP Editions

  • NEMP 2016
  • NEMP 2015
  • NEMP 2014
  • NEMP 2013
  • NEMP 2012
  • NEMP 2011
  • NEMP 2010