FPERSUASION Protests Can Swing Elections A new study shows that both liberal and conservative demonstrations have a real impact on U.S. House elections.
BY EDMUND L. ANDREWS
From anti-war marches in the 1960s to the
Tea Party rallies of 2010 and the almost
nonstop progressive protests in 2018,
marching in the streets has been a fixture of
modern American life.
But do protests actually accomplish
anything in terms of election results or the
balance of party power?
Absolutely yes, according to a new
study based on 30 years of data.
Coauthored by Sarah A. Soule at
Stanford GSB and Daniel Q. Gillion at
University of Pennsylvania, the study
finds that spikes in both liberal and
conservative protest activity can increase
or decrease a candidate’s vote by enough
to change the final outcome.
RIPPLE EFFECT Street demonstrations send potent signals to voters and candidates alike.