The 'Money Primary' and Political Inequality in Congressional Elections

34 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2013

Date Written: April 16, 2013


In this study I examine three assumptions underlying the claim that campaign contributions skew political outcomes by advantaging those candidates more attuned to the interests of wealthy donors: that individual donations have a major effect on primary election outcomes; that donors are better informed than primary voters; and that donors have distinct expressed preferences in candidates. Analysis of ANES and U.S. House primary data indicates support for the influence of campaign donations and informational asymmetry, and mixed evidence that donors prefer different candidates than other voters.

Keywords: Legislative Elections; Congressional Primaries, Inequality, Representation

Suggested Citation

Burroughs, Nathan, The 'Money Primary' and Political Inequality in Congressional Elections (April 16, 2013). Available at SSRN: or

Nathan Burroughs (Contact Author)

Michigan State University ( email )

Agriculture Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824-1122
United States

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