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Cherie Berry’s Elevator Pictures, Spatial Regression, and the Ups and Downs of the Research Process

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By: Jacob F. H. Smith Published: 2019 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases in Political Science and International Relations
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Abstract

In this case study, I discuss the research conducted for the 2016 American Politics Research paper “The Elevator Effect: Advertising, Priming, and the Rise of Cherie Berry.” In this paper, my coauthor and I found that North Carolina Commissioner of Labor Cherie Berry favorably influenced her electoral fortunes by installing placards with her picture in all North Carolina elevators. This case study begins by discussing the research design used to examine Berry’s performance in recent North Carolina elections. Next, I discuss the modeling decisions made in this project, focusing specifically on the decision to use spatial regression models. This case study provides an overview of when one should test for spatial autocorrelation, when to use a spatial regression model, and how to make various modeling decisions. After reading this case study, readers should be able to consider when they might apply spatial modeling to their own work.

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