College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

Dr. Neil Chaturvedi explores the effect of Citizens United in new Forum manuscript

Congratulations to Dr. Neil Chaturvedi and his co-author Coleen Holloway who recently had their work published in Forum. Forum provides a forum for professionally informed commentary on issues affecting contemporary American politics. This includes but is not limited to issues engaging parties, elections, and political participation; the news media, interest groups, Congress, the Presidency, and the Courts; trends in public finance, presidential popularity, congressional productivity; in contemporary, historical, or comparative perspective.

Dr. Chaturvedi and Holloway explore the effect of Citizens United on Senate elections:

In 2010, the Supreme Court’s decision on Citizens United v. FEC, fueled public outcry about the growth of the cost of the political campaign and the influx of outside money in the form of independent expenditures. President Barack Obama seemed to agree with this speculation calling independent expenditures, “dark money” that “pulls our politics into the gutter”. Indeed, signs pointing to the increase in the cost of campaigns are correct, as 2014 saw the most expensive congressional elections in history. In this paper, we examine the effects of outside group spending on Senate races in 2010, 2012, and 2014. We find that outside group spending does play a significant, though small role in determining the vote share of a candidate. We also find that outside group spending in support of a candidate is generally more effective than outside group spending against a candidate, especially for the incumbent. Still, outside group expenditures pale in comparison to campaign expenditures for the challenger in terms of overall effect.

Check out the article here. Congratulations once again to Dr. Chaturvedi!