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The Presidential Pork Barrel and the Conditioning Effect of Term
Andrew J. Taylor
Presidential Studies Quarterly
Vol. 38, No. 1 (Mar., 2008), pp. 96-109
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27552306
Page Count: 14
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I examine across-state distributions of procurement contracts from 1984 to 2004 to test two hypotheses that a presidential electoral connection explains geographic patterns in federal spending. Both hypotheses are derived from a basic vote-buying theory and are assumed to be conditioned by the president's term. The first hypothesis is that, during first terms, the president will direct a disproportionate amount of procurement dollars per capita to battleground states. The second is that, during first terms, states that gave winning presidential candidates a disproportionately large share of their popular vote will benefit this way. I reject both and, therefore, challenge the generalizability of important extant work. Instead, I find that states that gave presidents disproportionately fewer of their popular votes in the reelection receive more procurement dollars per capita—that is, there is a counterintuitive second-term effect.
Presidential Studies Quarterly © 2008 Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress