Campaign Activities and State Election Outcomes

This research first clusters campaign activities in Louisiana state legislative elections into five clusters: direct attempts to persuade voters, obtaining the support of other elites, attempts to increase turnout, seeking endorsements from other political officials, and fund raising. Indices created from these clusters are then compared to the situational factors of incumbency and competition as predictors of election outcomes. Data are surveys of candidates for the Louisiana legislature in which they were asked about the conduct of their campaigns and their relative emphasis on various activities. Incumbency was by far the best predictor of what percentage of the vote a candidate obtained, and in open seat contests, expenditures and competition best predicted outcome. Overall, the campaign activities had very little relationship to outcome when controlling for situational factors. Variations occurred between the House and Senate races with implications for challengers” strategies and campaign financing.

Filed Under: Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits, Contributions & Limits, Research, Contribution Limits, Expenditure, Contributions & Limits, Expenditure, Taxpayer Financed Campaigns, Louisiana