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Thompson and Moncrief: Campaign finance in state legislative elections

Disclaimer. Don't rely on these old notes in lieu of reading the literature, but they can jog your memory. As a grad student long ago, my peers and I collaborated to write and exchange summaries of political science research. I posted them to a wiki-style website. "Wikisum" is now dead but archived here. I cannot vouch for these notes' accuracy, nor can I say who wrote them.

Thompson and Moncrief, eds. 1998. Campaign finance in state legislative elections. Washington DC: CQ Press.

Chapter 1

Lays out the general approach of the book. Looks at how campaign spending/finance varies with (1) legislative professionalism, (2) size of the state, (3) campaign finance laws, etc. See Table 1-2 (pg 15).

Chapter 5: Candidate Revenues in State Legislative Primaries

Many of the conclusions are what you would expect: e.g. Candidates spend more money in contested primaries than uncontested. A significant conclusion is that the incumbency advantage kicks in early in the campaign, with incumbents raising significant sums during primaries--and spending it in the general election (against a challenger who probably had to spend more just to win his primary). Thus, campaign finance reforms that put limits on contributions might have an effect opposite to what is intended: They might put a further handicap on challengers (relative to incumbents).

Chapter 6: Expenditures and the Election Results

The controversy (chicken-egg): Does money cause election results, or does money simply go toward likely winners?


Research by the same authors

Research on similar subjects


Thompson, Joel (author)Moncrief, Gary (author)American PoliticsElectionsCampaign Finance

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