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THE EFFECTS OF CAMPAIGN IN VOTERS TURNOUT IN THE 2023 ELECTIONS

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THE EFFECTS OF CAMPAIGN IN VOTERS TURNOUT IN THE 2023 ELECTIONS

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Throughout most of the early days of democracy in Nigeria, local election campaigns were typically criticized as being mainly useless in terms of impacting political results. During the past several years, however, substantial research has challenged and effectively altered this consensus. As a direct consequence of this, there is now very little space for debate on the significance of local campaigns. There is no question that the preparations that candidates and parties make in the days leading up to election day have an effect on the decisions that voters make. Moreover, there is clear evidence that indicates that campaign effort has a favourable impact on voter participation (Geys, 2016). The more intensive, visible, and informative an election campaign is, the greater the possibility that voters will participate in the democratic process by casting a ballot. The favourable benefits that local campaign effort has on both voter participation and election outcomes are now generally acknowledged to exist, despite the fact that a variety of other variables also contribute to understanding both of these phenomena.

The term "campaign effort" refers to the collection of actions that are carried out with the intention of maximising political wins. It accomplishes the goal of mobilising the electorate, from the most ardent supporters to the those who are still on the fence. This is accomplished by increasing the overall significance of the election while simultaneously supporting a more narrowly focused political message. In point of fact, the campaign activities that have been put in place by political parties and candidates, together with the heavy media coverage, are the two most important sources of information that voters have at their disposal in the run-up to the election. In this study, we concentrate on the former; more specifically, we investigate the influence of campaign effort on the heterogeneity in turnout levels at the level of individual constituencies. Our research is based on the assumption that more visible campaigns stimulate electoral participation. Experimental studies have demonstrated that individuals' interest in voting is raised when they are exposed to campaign material. This makes them more inclined to vote (Green and Gerber, 2018). In a similar line, observational studies have demonstrated that the amount of effort put into campaign mobilisation is a highly effective predictor of turnout not just in the United States (Hillygus, 2015), but also across a variety of democratic systems (Karp & Banducci, 2017).

    1. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Door-to-door canvassing and other time-honored forms of political campaigning have lately seen a resurgence in popularity among candidates and their campaigns. Studies carried out by political scientists have shown that door-to-door campaigning is an effective method for boosting voter participation in elections (Green & Gerber 2015; Medvic 2015). While attempts to canvass voters have been successful in increasing participation among older voters, turnout among younger voters has remained lower than that of other age groups. It has been suggested that boosting the number of young people who vote might be accomplished via the use of preregistration legislation, civic engagement peer groups, and easily available information (Bogard et al. 2008; Holbein & Hillygus 2016; Shea & Harris 2006). While previous research has focused on how to increase turnout in the contemporary political environment, it is important to note that the electorate ages and new generations of voters take their place – with the experiences and viewpoints of their era. Thus, in an age where Millennials and Gen. Zer’s will soon dominate the workforce and electorate, it is imperative to understand whether traditional campaign methods will continue to be effective for these groups.

Campaigning, on the other hand, can have a significant impact not only on the outcomes of elections but also on public opinion regarding important issues and candidates. This is despite the fact that some political experts believe elections are too predictable and that campaigning has no impact on the results (Holbrook 1996). Traditional methods of campaigning in the field, such as canvassing, phone banking, and leafleting, are still supported by researchers like Stephen Medvic in the effort to increase voter interest and participation in elections, as was the case in the general elections of 2023 (Ikott, 2023). Thus this study seeks to examine the effects of campaign in voters turnout in the 2023 elections.

    1. OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The main aim of this study is to examine the effects of campaign in voters turnout in the 2023 elections. Specific aims of this study are:

  1. To determine the extent campaigns was used during the 2023 general elections.

  2. To determine whether campaigns played a role in voters interest during the 2023 general elections.

  3. To determine whether campaigns played a role in voters participation during the 2023 general elections.

  4. To examine the various campaign methods that were used during the 2023 general elections.

    1. RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The following research questions will be answered in this study:

  1. To what extent was campaigns used during the 2023 general elections?

  2. Did campaigns play a role in voters interest during the 2023 general elections?

  3. Did campaigns play a role in voters participation during the 2023 general elections?

  4. What are the various campaign methods that were used during the 2023 general elections?

    1. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This research provides some fresh insights for political consultants based on the outcomes of the study, which means that it might be useful in the future. This study demonstrates that internet usage can be employed for campaigning since it is utilised across all age groups, suggesting that it is widely utilised for campaign research throughout generations. In addition, when people's ages grew, their voting behaviour in the election of 2019 became a more accurate predictor of their voting behaviour in the election of 2023. While recruiting new voters, one of the most essential things that campaign workers need to keep in mind is that it is in everyone's best interest to do all possible to guarantee that the new voter will continue to participate in future elections. This builds off of the earlier research that has been done on the voting habits of young people, which has indicated that one of the primary reasons young people do not vote is because they do not have enough knowledge about the issues).

    1. SCOPE OF THE STUDY

This study focuses on the effects of campaign in voters turnout in the 2023 elections. This study also specfically focuses on determining the extent campaigns was used during the 2023 general elections, determining whether campaigns played a role in voters interest during the 2023 general elections, determining whether campaigns played a role in voters participation during the 2023 general elections and examining the various campaign methods that were used during the 2023 general elections.

Selected voters in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State will be the respondents of this study.

    1. LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. However, the researcher were able to manage these just to ensure the success of this study.

Moreover, the case study method utilized in the study posed some challenges to the investigator including the possibility of biases and poor judgment of issues. However, the investigator relied on respect for the general principles of procedures, justice, fairness, objectivity in observation and recording, and weighing of evidence to overcome the challenges.

    1. DEFINITION OF TERMS

Election: Is a process of selecting one person or more for an office, public or private, from a wider field of candidates.

Political Campaigns: A political campaign is an organized effort which seeks to influence the decision making progress within a specific group. In democracies, political campaigns often refer to electoral campaigns, by which representatives are chosen or referendums are decided.

Voters Turnout: In political science, voter turnout is the participation rate of a given election. This is typically either the percentage of registered voters, eligible voters, or all voting-age people.


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