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Support and Preferences for Grassroots Fundraising (with Yimeng Li)

Date: Wednesday, Mar 6, 2024, 16:30 ~ 17:45
Speaker: Seo-young Silvia Kim (Sogang University)
Location: 우석경제관(223동) 308호

◈ 주   제 : Support and Preferences for Grassroots Fundraising
◈ 발표자 : 김서영(서강대)
◈ 일   시 : 2024년 3월 6일 수요일 16:30 ~ 17:45
◈ 장   소 : 우석경제관(223동) 308호
◈ 주   관 : 경제학부, 경제연구소 한국경제혁신센터, SSK, BK21

Support and Preferences for Grassroots Fundraising


Do Americans support small individual donations over other sources of political fundraising? Small online contributions are becoming more prevalent, and political elites and the media often idealize them as leveling the playing field in the American political ecosystem. However, we have little understanding of whether and, if any, how much the public supports small donations as a campaign funding source over others and whether such preferences translate into tangible changes in political behavior. Using a conjoint experiment via a nationally representative survey of U.S. citizens, we test whether candidates with higher dependence on small individual donors are more likely to be chosen. Surprisingly, candidates relying more on small donors attract a higher likelihood of vote choice and candidate ratings, not just within primaries or for Democrats, but across primaries, general elections, and all partisan affiliations. Moreover, the public believes that there should be more small donations in American elections and that, compared to the current baseline, the ideal composition of campaign funding should rely less on PACs and large individual donations and more on small donations and other sources such as candidate self-financing. Such beliefs are unshaken when presented with information about lawmakers with the highest reliance on small donors, who are generally perceived as outsiders or ideologically extreme.

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