Presidential Pork Barrel Politics with Polarized Voters (2018.11)

  • 저자 : Woo Chang Kang
  • 학술지명 : Political Geography
  • 발행처 : ELSEVIER
  • 권호 : 67
  • 게재년월 : 2018년 11월
  • DOI :
  • 초록 : Despite strong theoretical claims that politicians should target swing voters with distributive benefits, empirical evidence in the United States is inconclusive. This paper addresses the puzzle by focusing on two factors overlooked in previous work. First, I show that, owing to the bimodal distribution of partisanship among the U.S. public, swing voters can be targeted efficiently through the allocation of federal resources to areas where the opposition is strong. Secondly, I hypothesize that presidents limit swing-voter targeting to times when they are actually up for reelection; thus, the opposition county advantage appears only in first presidential terms. An analysis of the geographic distribution of federal project grants awarded between 1986 and 2009 supports the theory. Presidents target swing voters within competitive states; they do so only in the years when they seek reelection, however, and they channel benefits to counties where the opposition party maintains a stronghold.