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Abstract

Does a community’s proximity to a presidential field office impact presidential election results? Applying community-level data from the American Community Survey, we examine the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections in the battleground state of Ohio. Using spatial regression, we find that the number of Obama field offices within 10 miles significantly increased his share of the vote in 2012. While proximity to a McCain Victory Center statistically decreased a community’s Obama vote share, this result was not substantive. In 2012, a community’s proximity to a Romney field office did not influence the results. Proximity to an Obama field office also helped to increase voter turnout in both 2008 and 2012. These findings suggest that the Obama voter mobilization strategy was successful, particularly at the margins, and that future candidates should consider adopting a similar strategy. Further research is needed to delineate the differences between quality and quantity of field offices.


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