Ressearch on why people choose sides in local elections?

Does anyone here know if there is any published research on local elections? Most local elections, such as city council, state representatives in small states, etc. run on very small budgets: fewTV ads, little press coverage, no debates.

So local elections run off of word of mouth, small newspaper ads, door to door knocking by campagn workers, and yard signs. I have always wondered if anyone has ever done any research on what acually changes people’s minds about candidates. Do yard signs actually work? Does a 30 second conversation at an innoportune time sway people’s opinions?

To make this a GQ topic, my question is : Does anyone know of any actual research on this that I can read?

GAAAAHHHH!!! Research. I blame the title spelling on gremlins. Could a Mod change the spelling to make me look like less of an idiot?