What Price Justice(s)? Understanding Campaign Spending in State Supreme Court Elections
State Politics and Policy Quarterly, Vol. 5, pp. 107-125, Summer 2005
30 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2007
Among the least researched American elections are those for state supreme court seats, arguably some of the most important political positions in the states. In particular, while we know that, overall, campaign spending in these races has increased sharply in the past twenty years, there is great variation in spending among them. Why does campaign spending vary so greatly among races for states' highest courts? And what can an understanding of campaign spending in these races tell us about campaign spending for other offices? I use data from 281 state supreme court races in 21 states from 1990-2000 to answer this question. I find that campaign spending in these races is driven by the characteristics of the race, institutional arrangements, and the electoral and state supreme court context.
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