Are Campaign Contributions a Form of Speech? Evidence from Recent US House Elections
This paper investigates the effects of the sources of candidates' campaign funding on their electoral outcomes, with particular emphasis on whether candidates who rely on a narrow base of funding suffer adverse electoral consequences. An extensive dataset consisting of over 650,000 contributions to House candidates in elections from 1980 to 1992 is used. The results reveal a negative relationship between the concentration of contributions and voteshare for open seat candidates and challengers. This finding appears to have significant implications for some of the empirical premises underlying the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark Buckley v. Valeo decision. At the very least, it represents an important stylized fact about US elections that is robust over 1980-92 period. Copyright 2002 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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