Model behaviour

In America, who votes may matter more than how they vote

ON A crisp autumn afternoon, armed with “I’m with her” balloons, a boombox and a clipboard, Eli Clark-Davis sets out dancing down the street with his friends to get out the Democratic vote in Fishtown, a gentrifying neighbourhood in Philadelphia. The group’s mission is to knock on as many doors as possible, reminding registered voters of whom they should back, when election day falls and where to cast their ballots. They ask potential supporters to sign an “I commit to vote for Hillary” slip, which the campaign hopes will adorn refrigerator doors. Hillary Clinton’s campaign has set up 300 of these “staging posts” across the Pennsylvania, from which armies of volunteers set forth to mobilise her party’s base. On the campaign’s penultimate weekend, they knocked on 500,000 doors—roughly one-tenth of the households in the whole of the Keystone State.

Read the full article on Economist.com

Hoping that demography is not destiny

Britain’s EU referendum

ON JUNE 23rd Britons will head to the polls to answer a simple question they have not been asked since 1975: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?” If the answer is “remain”, Britain will continue to integrate with the EU’s 27 other countries. If it chooses to “leave”, the Kingdom may split apart and begin to drift gently into mid-Atlantic obscurity.

“Remain” has led in the polls for almost the entirety of the campaign. In early June the “leave” side surged, and briefly appeared to have taken a decisive lead. But the tragic murder on June 16th of Jo Cox, a pro-EU member of Parliament, may have helped swing the polls again in recent days. On the surface, this has restored a narrow edge for “remain”. However, the share of people saying they intend to vote for “remain” has not actually increased. Instead, a sliver of the electorate has simply switched from “leave” to “don’t know”. With just one or two percentage points splitting the two sides, the outcome will depend largely on the 10-15% of voters who say they are still undecided.

Read the full article on Economist.com