Political science in the Romney campaign

Here’s something interesting. This is a write-up about how Mitt Romney’s campaign may possibly be using political science research to know how to more strategically allocate resources in the Iowa caucus campaign. (Specifically, how the Romney campaign may be trying to more effectively “pinpoint” likely anti-Mormons using statistical survey techniques.)

Of course, this makes me happy: politicians may finally be paying attention to political science research… even if just a little bit.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/victory_lab/2011/12/mitt_romney_s_iowa_strategy_find_the_anti_mormon_voters_then_ignore_them_.single.html

The full article is very interesting and worth a read. The “social desirability” effect that the author describes in the write-up is something that we talked about in my GOV 336 course (“Public Opinion and Voting Behavior”) this term. And the researchers that the authors discuss (Dave Redlawsk and Caroline Tolbert) were two of my Ph.D. dissertation committee members at the University of Iowa.

By the way, the “list experiment” technique the author describes is something that I’ve used in the past to study immigration attitudes and support for Obama’s health care reform bill.

 

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