Voters liked sharing an elevator with Cherie Berry

“This week’s award for Most Uplifting Politician goes to Cherie Berry, a Republican and the first female commissioner of labor in North Carolina, who put a photo of herself on the inspection certificate that must be displayed in all elevators in the state. (She even made a TV ad for her 2012 reelection campaign that depicted her speaking from within her elevator picture.)

“Political scientists found that she out-performed other Republican candidates in the 2012 election in areas with more elevators per capita, even controlling for population density, such that ‘if we could hold the election over again without this advertising, her margin of victory would vanish almost entirely.’ She didn’t out-perform in her first elections (2000 and 2004), before the picture policy was rolled out.

“Smith, J. & Weinberg, N., ‘The Elevator Effect: Advertising, Priming, and the Rise of Cherie Berry,’ American Politics Research (forthcoming).”

— From “The rise of Cherie Berry: And more surprising insights from the social sciences” by Kevin Lewis in the Boston Globe (Sept. 20)


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