Examining a Most Likely Case for Strong Campaign Effects
A new study by Selb and Munzert revisits the question of how effective Adolf Hitler's public speeches were in garnering electoral support in Weimar Germany, 1927-1933. They collect extensive original data on five national elections preceding the dictatorship, and use a semi-parametric difference-in differences estimation strategy to account for often ignored endogeneity problems in the assessment of local campaign effects. In doing so, they also provide rare insight into the campaign strategy of the Nazi party. Their findings suggest that Hitler's speeches, while rationally targeted, had a negligible impact on the Nazis' electoral fortunes. The study was published in the American Political Science Review.