Show Me the Money: Candidate Selection Based on Campaign Finance Transparency
72 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2017 Last revised: 1 Jul 2020
Date Written: May 20, 2020
Campaign finance compliance and transparency reveal important non-policy attributes that voters care about. They may signal how the candidate would govern if elected. Using vignette and conjoint survey experiments, I show that voters in primary elections base their candidate selection on transparency considerations, even where the candidate shares the respondents’ preferred policy positions. The findings bring campaign finance compliance into the scholarly conversation about candidate valence, and they explain why some primary candidates discourage dark money support only to embrace it in the general election.
Keywords: transparency, campaign finance, valence, elections, voting, compliance
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