Presentation Title

Takes Money to Make Money: The Correlation Between Personal Wealth and Campaign Contributions

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

School

School of Sciences and Social Sciences

Discipline

Political Science

Mentor

Michael Welsh, William Bendix

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to determine whether personal wealth is correlated to the amount of campaign contributions a candidate receives other than self-funding. Senate Financial Disclosure forms from the 2016 Senate general election candidates will be utilized to determine candidate net worth. Total campaign contributions for each candidate (minus self-funding) will be determined based on Federal Election Commission records. We believe that our research will show that there is a statistically significant difference in the overall net worth of candidates and money raised; specifically, we expect to find that the higher the net worth the greater the funds raised. Since increased funding is directly linked to greater electability, we believe this could potentially be a factor in explaining why the Senate is comprised almost exclusively of those in the upper income or wealth brackets. A trend that decreases not only the diversity but the representativeness of U.S. Congressmen.

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Takes Money to Make Money: The Correlation Between Personal Wealth and Campaign Contributions

The purpose of this paper is to determine whether personal wealth is correlated to the amount of campaign contributions a candidate receives other than self-funding. Senate Financial Disclosure forms from the 2016 Senate general election candidates will be utilized to determine candidate net worth. Total campaign contributions for each candidate (minus self-funding) will be determined based on Federal Election Commission records. We believe that our research will show that there is a statistically significant difference in the overall net worth of candidates and money raised; specifically, we expect to find that the higher the net worth the greater the funds raised. Since increased funding is directly linked to greater electability, we believe this could potentially be a factor in explaining why the Senate is comprised almost exclusively of those in the upper income or wealth brackets. A trend that decreases not only the diversity but the representativeness of U.S. Congressmen.