Robocalls Don’t Work and Other Tidbits






I hope longtime Miramar pol Lori Moseley wasn’t paying for each voter that her robocall reached this weekend.

Running for re-election as mayor against two challengers, Moseley robocall dialed voters in Hollywood and Plantation.

Hollywood and Plantation voters might have been impressed with Moseley’s credentials, but obviously they can’t vote in the March city election in Miramar.

Robocalls have become an annoying, yet often-used tool of candidates because of their extremely low cost. But as my parents used to preach, “You get what you pay for.”

Political scientists have shown that robocalls are highly ineffective.

Professors Daron R. Shaw of the University of Maryland, Donald P. Green and Alan S. Gerber of Yale, and James G. Gimpel of the University of Texas published their research on robocalls in a 2012 issue of the Journal of Political Marketing. The four political scientists used a randomized experiments to research the effect of robocalls on a quarter of a million voters during a Texas Republican primary. “Results suggest that the automated calls had weak and statistically insignificant effects on turnout and vote margins,” the four wrote.

Other studies duplicate their work.

Robocalls also may annoy many voters.

The establishment of the Do Not Call Registry indicates that many do not like to be bothered by unsolicited calls. Yet political calls are excluded from the registry.

The Today Show cited a study done during the 2012 election season which found that 93 percent did not want to receive any type of campaign call in the next election.

The show featured David Nickerson, an associate professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame, who said that political robocalls are a waste of money, but they may not bother a voter enough to produce a backlash against a candidate.

“Robocalls have not been shown to be effective at all in creating voter turnout,” Nickerson said. “The backlash is real in terms of people being upset, but there’s no evidence that this causes someone not to vote for your party or candidate. So, there seems to be a limited political downside for the campaigns.”





Seven new judges will be formally robed on Friday at the tradition annual ceremony at the downtown Fort Lauderdale Courthouse.

Those being robed are Circuit Court Judges Dennis D. Bailey, John Patrick Contini and Stacey Schulman, who were elected last year. Also being robed is Edward H. Merrigan, Jr., a former county judge appointed to the circuit bench last year by Gov. Rick Scott. 

The county judges being robed include Claudia Robinson, who won election in November.  Also being robed are two former prosecutors — Kal Evans and Daniel J. Kanner, appointed by Scott last year.

The event begins at 1 p.m. in the jury assembly room and is sponsored by the Broward County Bar Association and a number of law firms.  It is open to the public.


Former state Rep. Jim Waldman has endorsed a candidate Josh Rydell for the open seat on the Coconut Creek City Commission.

Waldman said candidate Rydell “is exactly the type of younger Democratic leader who can gain experience in municipal government. He appreciates the important role smart economic development will play in the city’s future and, after his young daughter grows a bit, Josh may be interested is expanding his leadership role into the county.”

Waldman flirted with running for the open city seat. After mulling it over, Waldman decided not to run for commission so that he can spend his time on his already-announced campaign for state Senate in 2016.


9 Responses to “Robocalls Don’t Work and Other Tidbits”

  1. Elaine Harmych says:

    I totally agree. Robocalls are annoying and ineffective. There is nothing like talking to a person with a pulse.

  2. Broward Voter says:

    It all depends on the quality of the caller and the message that is left.

    There are good ways to do robo calls and bad ways to do them. The good ways leave a memorable and favorable impression on the voter. The bad ones leaves a negative or numb impression.

    What doesn’t work is running for Mayor in Miramar and doing a countywide robocall. That’s pretty embarassing.

  3. Go Josh! says:

    Joshua will make a fantastic commissioner in Coconut Creek.

  4. interesting says:

    Is waldman going to live in his senate area this time?

  5. Kevin Hill says:

    The MIramar mayoral election is going to be interesting from a crass political science perspective. Remember that there is no runoff, and if there is significant racially-polarized voting…… well.


    I agree. There are three candidates for mayor:

    (1) Mayor Lori Moseley, who is white and who has been around since whites controlled city elections.
    (2) Alexandra Davis, who is black and who has a base in the Caribbean-American community. Since Miramar has one of the largest number by percentage of Jamaicans in the United States, this group of voters can obviously help her.
    (3) Wayne Messan, who appears to have a great deal of appeal in the African-American community.

    One interesting factor will be which way the Hispanic’s vote. There city is about one-third Hispanic, but the turn out among Hispanic voters has been poor.

  6. Lifelong Democrat, Proud of It says:

    Wayne Messam is an American born Jamaican who is popular in all parts of his city. He and his wife own and operate a construction company. Wayne an FSU graduate where he was a football star. He also played in the NFL. Messam is a family man with a strong following including the local faith community.

    Messam is smart, likeable and popular. As a commissioner he has been effective in bringing needed changes to Miramar. Most residents believe Moseley been there too long. She’s increasingly disconnected and out of touch with the city’s needs. Davis has made a series of self-serving and poorly selected political choices. She lacks the termperament to be Mayor prone to involvement in ugly confrontations.

    Wayne Messam will become Miramar’s next Mayor. Just watch and see.

  7. Broward lover says:

    Jamaican or American? If Wayne Messam is American-born, that makes him an American. So, he’s an American with Jamaican heritage…

  8. Coral Springs Voter says:

    I was very surprised to get a robo call from Mayor Mosley asking me to vote for her for Mayor as well, especially as Coral Springs just had a mayoral race this past November. The robo call was embarrassing for Lori as it talked about how she was proud to be my mayor. Not. Sorry, Lori, calling voters in Coral Springs is not going to get you elected in Miramar.

  9. Real Deal says:

    What part of American born Jamaican don’t people get? Another way of saying it is Jamaican American, sort of like Cuban American or Afro American, Italian American. Pretty clear. Wayne Messam is an American of Jamaican ancestry.