How do candidates allocate their campaign resources and when do they change their allocations? Using data of over 3.5 million expenditure items submitted by candidates who ran for House seats between 2004 through 2014, we provide a detailed picture of how candidates allocate their limited resources among different categories of activities. Although different candidates running in the same race allocated their campaign resource differently, in the aggregate, monthly expenditure patterns over the course of the campaign period across six election cycles are similar. Also, from one cycle to the next, candidates rarely changed their campaign resource allocations, even when they face varying qualities of challengers, different sets of voters due to redistricting, and increases in outside spending after Citizens United. This suggests that candidates’ expenditure decisions are sticky across election cycles. We show additional evidence of this persistency by documenting repeated contractual relationship with the same consultants and campaign vendors by campaigns.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Political Science and International Relations