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Bringing Home the Votes: Electoral Outcomes in State Legislative Races

Gregory A. Caldeira and Samuel C. Patterson
Political Behavior
Vol. 4, No. 1 (1982), pp. 33-67
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/586404
Page Count: 35
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Bringing Home the Votes: Electoral Outcomes in State Legislative Races
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Abstract

This analysis assesses the effects of campaign activity, measured in terms of the campaign expenditures of candidates, on the outcomes of state legislative elections. The research utilizes election results from the 1978 elections for the state houses in California and Iowa. In addition, the investigation specifies the influence of partisan strength and incumbency on election outcomes. Two multiple regression models are estimated, one in which the partisan vote outcome is the dependent variable and one in which the vote of challengers is the dependent variable. Although the results of the inquiry underscore the partisan character of state legislative races, they also show that, akin to congressional contests, a challenger's campaign spending can sometimes have a greater effect on the voting outcome than the incumbent's spending. But these state legislative elections are largely partisan affairs in which "bringing home the votes" mainly involves support for political parties in the legislative districts and the intensity of campaign efforts represented by campaign expenditures.

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