Campaign activation in German Elections: Evidence from 2005 and 2009 | Mannheimer Zentrum für Europäische Sozialforschung

Richard Johnston, Julia Partheymüller
Campaign activation in German Elections: Evidence from 2005 and 2009

2012 APSA Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, 30. August bis 02. September 2012

This paper investigates the activation of electoral “fundamentals” in German Bundestag campaigns with evidence from 2005 and 2009. We show that the economy, party identification, and ideology are liable to activation but not in the same ways and not necessarily at the same time. Rather, activation is conditional on context and was altogether greater in the conventionally partisan election of 2005 than in 2009, when party differences were muted. The mechanisms of activation are mixed, with self-persuasion being at least as important as priming.