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Mayoral candidates need to assemble a fundraising coalition so they can raise sufficient funds to be competitive. What is the nature of those coalitions? Are they narrow partnerships of like-minded interests, or are they broad alliances encompassing many different groups? Also, are the coalitions assembled by opposing candidates fundamentally different, or do most candidates receive their funds from the same sources? This article explores these questions through an analysis of five open seat mayoral elections in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle. Most candidates assemble broad coalitions of many different groups, and because of this breadth candidates often have internally inconsistent coalitions (especially labor-backed candidates). Further, the fundraising coalitions of opposing candidates are usually quite similar. The results show that mayoral elections are not characterized by competing coalitions of donors and that voters who desire to use financial backing as a factor influencing their decision have limited choices.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: San Diego State University

Publication date: 2007-12-01

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