Using Social Science — and Old Glory — to Help Romney

Between now and the election, Castle Pines resident Crista Huff plans to distribute as many as 20,000 American flag bumper stickers — she’s already handed out more than 7,500 of them — in an attempt to exert “subliminal seduction” on Colorado voters and swing the state’s electoral votes toward Republican Mitt Romney.

She’s basing her plan on an academic paper published a year ago purporting to show that voters who see an American flag, even in just a brief glance, are more likely to vote Republican.

The story is here.  The paper is here. One of the study’s authors, Travis Carter, isn’t so sure:

So my guess is that they will probably contribute to the background of a typical election year (not to mention an Olympic season), with American flags and party paraphernalia all but inescapable, but not much more than that.

Hat tip to Seth Masket.

[Cross-posted at The Monkey Cage]

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John Sides

John Sides is an associate professor of political science at George Washington University.