Study Finds that Public Financing Reduces Incumbent Advantage, Increases Competitiveness but also Polarization

Washington Post: “That is the conclusion of political scientist Andrew Hall. He focuses on state legislative elections and compares trends in the five states that implemented robust public funding programs — Arizona, Connecticut, Maine, Minnesota, and Wisconsin — to trends in other states. Here is what he finds:

  • As intended, public funding reduces the financial advantage of incumbents.
  • As intended, public funding reduces the incumbents’ margin of victory. That is, it makes elections more competitive.
  • Not intended: public financing makes polarization in the state legislature worse.”

“In a more elaborate statistical analysis, Hall examines the gap between Republican and Democratic legislators representing similar districts. In a polarized legislature, a Republican and a Democrat will tend to vote in very different ways even though they represent essentially the same constituents. Hall finds that public financing increases this gap between the parties by 30 percent.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s