Electoral campaigning is a business worth billions of dollars, but new research has found that attempts to persuade voters to choose one candidate over a rival from another party may almost be worthless.

David Broockman and Joshua Kalla

David Broockman, Assistant Professor/Political Economy, Stanford Graduate School of Business(left) and Joshua Kalla Ph.D. student in Political Science, University of California(right)

"The best estimate for the persuasive effects of campaign contact and advertising – such as mail, phone calls, and canvassing – on Americans' candidate choices, in general elections, is zero," David Broockman, an Assistant Professor/Political Economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and Joshua Kalla, a Ph.D. student in Political Science at the University of California, reported in a recent paper.