Does Moving Disrupt Campaign Activity?



Findings from cross-sectional studies cannot tell us whether moving leads to changes in civic activity, because such studies do not observe the same individual's participation before and after moves. This paper treats both moving and participation as dynamic processes, analyzing data that cover 18 years within lives of two generations of Americans. The results suggest that our general understanding about who participates cannot account for the patterns evident in even the simplest of descriptions of this phenomenon. Moving is shown to disrupt moments of campaign activity. However, the specific patterns of this disruption across generations and types of acts lead to more questions about the mechanism by which moving interferes with the political activity of ordinary Americans.