Title

Getting Short‐Changed? The Impact of Outside Money on District Representation

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-2016

Publisher

John Wiley & Sons, Inc

Abstract

Objective
As incumbent House members increasingly recruit campaign contributions from individuals who reside outside of their districts, this raises the question of whether a dependency on outside money affects members’ responsiveness and ideological proximity to district constituents.

Method
Using data from the Cooperative Congressional Election Studies of 2006, 2008, and 2010 as well as individual contribution data corresponding to those years from the U.S. Federal Election Commission, I examine this relationship using responsiveness and proximity models of representation.

Results
I find a dependency on outside contributions decreases members’ responsiveness to their districts and increases the members’ ideological extremity. Moreover, within‐district contributions only minimally improve ideological alignment between the member and the district.

Conclusion
Donors receive additional representation from members of the House at the expense of constituents.

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