Explanations for election outcomes have commonly included incumbency and candidate quality. While these explanations have been successful, they do not wholly explain who wins or loses. To move beyond the concepts of incumbency and quality, a typology of candidates is developed based on their motivations for running. Hierarchical cluster analysis is employed to examine open-ended responses from state legislative candidates in nine states. The resulting typologies are found to be connected to influences on candidate emergence and perceptions of factors that influenced the election outcome. They also prove to be statistically significant predictors of election victory even when controlling for incumbency, quality, spending and campaign professionalism. The findings should encourage others to move beyond conventional explanations of election outcomes.
- state legislative elections,
- candidate motivations
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/shannon_jenkins/7/