An Elite Theory of Political Consulting and Its Implications for U.S. House Election Competition

An Elite Theory of Political Consulting and Its Implications for U.S. House Election Competition Does the hiring of political consultants make election races more competitive? If so, why? Most scholars of political consulting argue their expertise enhances competition; I argue that consultant reputation also boosts competition. Many political consultants are part of the Washington establishment, which notices their association with candidates. In particular, congressional candidates of the out party, especially challengers, have an incentive to hire the most reputable consultants to signal to political elites their viability. I demonstrate a positive empirical relationship between out-party candidates hiring top consultants (compared to less reputable ones) and how competitive their race is perceived by elites. These findings and theoretical insight provide a basis for understanding the high costs of political consultants and their impact on election outcomes. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Behavior Springer Journals

An Elite Theory of Political Consulting and Its Implications for U.S. House Election Competition

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Political Science and International Relations; Political Science; Sociology, general
ISSN
0190-9320
eISSN
1573-6687
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11109-010-9140-y
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Does the hiring of political consultants make election races more competitive? If so, why? Most scholars of political consulting argue their expertise enhances competition; I argue that consultant reputation also boosts competition. Many political consultants are part of the Washington establishment, which notices their association with candidates. In particular, congressional candidates of the out party, especially challengers, have an incentive to hire the most reputable consultants to signal to political elites their viability. I demonstrate a positive empirical relationship between out-party candidates hiring top consultants (compared to less reputable ones) and how competitive their race is perceived by elites. These findings and theoretical insight provide a basis for understanding the high costs of political consultants and their impact on election outcomes.

Journal

Political BehaviorSpringer Journals

Published: Sep 26, 2010

References

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