Voter fatigue: When campaign marketing overstimulates voters

LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss (WCBI) – “Exposure is the name of the game,” said Dr. Brian Anderson, the Dean of Arts and Sciences at Mississippi University for Women. He specializes in political science.

Anderson believes election exhaustion is formed when there’s too much exposure through commercials, social media, and other means of getting a candidate’s message across.

“A voter who’s been very attentive and happens to have the TV or the computer on quite a lot will possibly get this sense of dread. ‘Oh, here’s this face again. Here’s this message again. I’m sick of this slogan.’ And they might end up turning either against the candidate or the process just cause they’re exhausted,” said Anderson.

The professor said a candidate’s worst nightmare is knowing they didn’t reach enough people.

“No candidate wants to wake up the day after Election Day and realize that ‘I just lost by the tiniest of margins and if I had reached one person if I’d just done more.’ So, that’s the motivation you’re seeing here, ‘just do as much as you can in the time we have.’,” said Anderson.

Jean Bigelow is the Lowndes County Election Commissioner for District 2.

She said she’s seen how a handful of votes or lack thereof, changed an entire election.

“In the primary election in August, we had two races that came down to less than 20 votes. And I know that there are people out there that say ‘Ooh, I forgot to go.’ That made a difference in those two races for four more years,” said Bigelow.

Lowndes County Election Commissioner Sherry Guyton Odneal keeps her message to voters short and simple.

“Your voice counts and your vote counts. Every vote counts,” said Odneal.

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