News Release

Do opponents’ race, gender, and party impact US congressional fundraising?

Peer-Reviewed Publication


Donations for a political candidate can be motivated by support for that candidate or by opposition to the candidate’s opponent. New research published in Social Science Quarterly found that female Democrats and non-white male Democrats in the United States have a fundraising advantage when running against a white male Republican. Female Republicans or non-white male Republicans do not have this advantage when running against white male Democrats.

To assess the impact that race, gender, and party affiliation of a candidate and that candidate’s opponent have on the candidate’s fundraising, Dennis Halcoussis, PhD, of California State University, Northridge, examined data from the 2016, 2018, and 2020 US Congressional elections.

The results of his analysis suggest that Democratic donors give more when their party nominates a white female or non-white male to run against a white male Republican. Republican donors do not behave similarly—they do not donate more if the Republican candidate is a white female or a non-white male running against a white male Democrat.

“Any analysis of race, gender, and campaign contributions needs to consider the characteristics of both the Democratic and Republican candidate, not just one candidate in isolation,” said Prof. Halcoussis.



Additional Information
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About the Journal
Nationally recognized as one of the top journals in the field, Social Science Quarterly, the journal of the Southwestern Social Science Association, publishes current research on a broad range of topics including political science, sociology, economics, history, social work, geography, international studies, and women's studies.

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