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Jaclyn J. Kettler and Jeffrey Lyons Discuss Donations to Political Campaigns

Why do people donate to political campaigns? And how does a change in geographic location change the behavior of campaign donors?

In “The Fickle Financiers of elections? The impact of moving on individual contributions,” Jaclyn Kettler and Jeffrey Lyons, assistant professors in the School of Public Service, compared the donation behavior of more than 7,000 individuals in the U.S. House election before and after they have moved. They also observed how changes in the partisanship of the districts where they live alter the share of their donations that go to each party.

Kettler and Lyons looked at people who move and how they present a unique opportunity to assess the ways in which political behavior is altered by external circumstances. They found that partisan composition of the districts that people move to does influence their donation behavior. Kettler and Lyons concluded by discussing what these findings can tell us about the partisan and strategic motivations of campaign donors.

Their article appeared in the August 11 edition of the Journal of Elections, Public Opinion, and Parties.