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Evaluating the Effectiveness of Campaign Speeches:Evidence from the First National Speaking Tour

Johannes Buggle and Stephanos Vlachos

Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'économie from Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, Département d’économie

Abstract: This paper examines the effect of campaign visits in the context of the unique onesided nationwide speaking tour by a US Presidential candidate. During the 1896 election, the Democratic candidate went on a whistle stop train tour, while the Republican followed a frontporch campaign. To identify the causal effect of campaign speeches, we exploit several estimation strategies, including a within-county difference-in-differences design and a neighbor-pair fixed effect estimator. We find that one speech given by the Democratic candidate increased his vote share by about one percentage point on average. This increase stems from the persuasion of previously non-aligned industrial workers.

Keywords: Elections; campaign strategies; persuasive communication (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 N41 N71 P48 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 20 pp.
Date: 2020-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-his and nep-pol
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