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Campaign Spending in U. S. Senate Elections

Alan I. Abramowitz
Legislative Studies Quarterly
Vol. 14, No. 4 (Nov., 1989), pp. 487-507
Published by: Washington University
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/439955
Page Count: 21
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Campaign Spending in U. S. Senate Elections
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Abstract

The skyrocketing cost of U.S. Senate campaigns has led to proposals to limit candidates' spending. Republican opposition to spending limits has been based on the belief that such limits would adversely affect the minority party, since its challengers would need to spend more than the allowable limit in order to overcome the electoral advantage enjoyed by Democratic incumbents. However, very few GOP challengers in 1986 or 1988 reached the spending ceilings which have been proposed in recent reform legislation. In general, Republican challengers have had difficulty raising adequate campaign war chests, even in years such as 1984 when GOP prospects appeared promising. In the long run, spending limits might work to the advantage of the Republican party by causing Senate candidates to rely more heavily on independent expenditures and indirect financial support from party committees.

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