Voter Contact Techniques in State Legislative Campaigns:
The Prevalence of Mass Media Advertising
Legislative Studies Quarterly XXII:551-71

What methods of voter contact are used by candidates running for state legislative office? A number of studies on the congressional level suggest that mass media advertising, particularly on television, is becoming the predominant form of voter contact. However, few studies have questioned whether these findings are generalizable to state legislative races. This analysis of itemized expenditure data for 583 primary and general election candidates in Texas and Kansas shows that state legislative campaigns differ dramatically from congressional campaigns in their methods of voter contact. In both primary and general election campaigns, state legislative candidates allocate a preponderance of their voter contact dollars to direct forms of contact, such as mailings and pamphlet distribution. However, some candidates do allocate resources to advertising in mass media. District-level features condition the choice more than do candidate type, level of expenditures, or electoral competition.