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Localism in Presidential Elections: The Home State Advantage

Michael S. Lewis-Beck, University of Iowa
Tom W. Rice, University of Vermont


According to the folk wisdom of American politics, a presidential candidate has a vote advantage in his home state. While this proposition has intuitive appeal, it has never been tested. We evaluated the evidence, and found that presidential candidates actually do have a home state advantage. Further, in spite of the nationalization of certain other political processes, this local advantage has exhibited no diminution across time. Finally, the magnitude of the home state advantage for a particular candidate is rather predictable, depending especially on the size of the state population.

Suggested Citation

Michael S. Lewis-Beck and Tom W. Rice. "Localism in Presidential Elections: The Home State Advantage" American Journal of Political Science 27.3 (1983): 548-556.
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