Why do Red States Vote Republican While Blue States Pay the Bills? Federal Spending and Electoral Votes, 1984-2008
Dean P. Lacy
APSA 2009 Toronto Meeting Paper
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.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 45
Date posted: August 13, 2009 ; Last revised: October 15, 2009