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The Check Is in the Mail: Interdistrict Funding Flows in Congressional Elections

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This article analyzes the financial ties between congressional candidates and individual donors residing outside those candidates' districts. Congressional campaigns today rely more heavily on nonresidents than in the past, with contests in the typical district drawing more than two-thirds of individual donations from nonresidents. Empirical results reveal that nonresident contributions are primarily partisan and strategic in nature, rather than access-oriented or expressive/identity-based. Funds are efficiently redistributed from a small number of highly educated, wealthy congressional districts to competitive districts anywhere in the country. Big donors direct funds where they can make a difference for party control of seats, even if those investments are hundreds, or even thousands, of miles away.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Maryland

Publication date: April 1, 2008

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