Why do Red States Vote Republican While Blue States Pay the Bills? Federal Spending and Electoral Votes, 1984-2008

45 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009 Last revised: 15 Oct 2009

Dean Lacy

Dartmouth College

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

Every year more states receive more in federal spending than they pay in taxes to the federal government. Since the early 1980s, when data on tax burdens per state are first available, the states that receive more in federal spending than taxes paid have been increasingly Republican in presidential elections. This pattern persisted in the 2008 presidential election. The impact of federal spending on a state’s Electoral Vote is increasing over the period 1984 to 2008 and remains statistically significant as a predictor of the vote when controlling for differences in ideology and opinions on issues across state populations and when controlling for per capita or median state income.

Suggested Citation

Lacy, Dean, Why do Red States Vote Republican While Blue States Pay the Bills? Federal Spending and Electoral Votes, 1984-2008 (2009). APSA 2009 Toronto Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1451268

Dean P. Lacy (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College ( email )

Hanover, NH
United States
603-646-9228 (Phone)

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