Incumbent Spending and Gubernatorial Elections: An Investigation of Primary Type and Candidate Deviation

Journal of Public Finance and Public Choice, Vol. 23, Nos. 1-2, pp. 3-18, 2005

25 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2011 Last revised: 14 Sep 2011

See all articles by Christopher Westley

Christopher Westley

Florida Gulf Coast University

Peter Calcagno

College of Charleston - Department of Economics and Finance

Date Written: December 9, 2005

Abstract

In the political science and public choice literature, it has been shown that candidates (i) deviate from their median voter based upon the primary election type, and (ii) are more likely to establish policy positions that deviate from the median voter when the voting system is characterized by closed primaries. This paper examines the relationship between incumbent campaign spending and the degree of openness of political primaries in the United States for gubernatorial elections over the years 1980-2000 to examine if the type of primary system influences campaign spending. The authors find that incumbent candidates who face a more open primary will deviate less and therefore spend less to win elections.

Keywords: voting models, campaign spending, public choice

JEL Classification: D72

Suggested Citation

Westley, Christopher and Calcagno, Peter, Incumbent Spending and Gubernatorial Elections: An Investigation of Primary Type and Candidate Deviation (December 9, 2005). Journal of Public Finance and Public Choice, Vol. 23, Nos. 1-2, pp. 3-18, 2005 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1925142

Christopher Westley (Contact Author)

Florida Gulf Coast University ( email )

Ft. Myers, FL 33965-6565
United States

Peter Calcagno

College of Charleston - Department of Economics and Finance ( email )

66 George Street
Charleston, SC 29424
United States

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