Social movements draw attention to how their goals align with political candidates but also intensify tensions in local settings. These tensions can take the form of oppositional voter mobilization when the movement is perceived as a formidable threat. In this article, I argue that protest signals the potential for electoral victory, and that the mobilization of opposing voters results when countermovement organizations frame the potential for victory as threatening to voter's interests. I provide empirical support by examining Senate voting outcomes in the 2010 midterm election and show that increases in Democratic voting were most pronounced in counties with high Tea Party rally activity. In complementary analyses, I find that Independent voters are more likely to oppose the Tea Party in counties with higher rally activity, and this opposition increased their likelihood of voting for Democrats.
Research Article| September 01 2018
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Burrel Vann; MOVEMENT-COUNTERMOVEMENT DYNAMICS AND MOBILIZING THE ELECTORATE. Mobilization: An International Quarterly 1 September 2018; 23 (3): 285–305. doi: https://doi.org/10.17813/1086-671X-23-3-285
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