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A Meta-Analysis of Campaign Contributions' Impact on Roll-Call Voting
Social Science Quarterly (2005)
  • Douglas D Roscoe
  • Shannon Jenkins

Conventional wisdom about the link between campaign contributions and roll call votes is that contributions rarely matter because groups tend to give to like-minded legislators. This meta-analysis examines the conventional wisdom by analyzing published research on this topic. We find that some, but not all, model specifications have an impact on whether significant results are present. Models that control for friendly giving by including a measure of legislators’ ideology and that include multiple contributions variables are less likely to produce significant results. Nonetheless, even in models that are well specified, we find a significant relationship between contributions and votes in about a quarter of the cases. Because flaws in the widely used measure of ideology likely hide some of the impact contributions have, and because many studies incorporate collinear contributions variables that probably obscure real relationships, we estimate one-third of roll call votes exhibit the impact of campaign contributions.

  • roll call voting,
  • campaign contributions
Publication Date
March, 2005
Citation Information
Douglas D Roscoe and Shannon Jenkins. "A Meta-Analysis of Campaign Contributions' Impact on Roll-Call Voting" Social Science Quarterly Vol. 86 Iss. 1 (2005)
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