Year of Graduation
Influence of the Electoral College Institution on Campaigning during Presidential Elections in the United States of America
Faculty of Politics
This research paper is dedicated to the question of the potential influence of the Electoral College on presidential campaign resource distribution in the United States. In lieu of the accentuation of the recent negative attitudes towards this method of vote counting, this paper studies the relationship between Electoral College-specific factors (more specifically, closeness of state elections and value of electoral college votes per million voters in given states) and presidential candidate campaign strategies during the 2012 election. The paper includes extensive background analysis on the subject as well as detailed operationalization methods. With a variety of regression analysis methods implemented on various sets of variables, it is found that the Electoral College has a significant influence over ad budget distribution among US states – smaller election margins are found to be beneficial to a state's chances of receiving significant advertising, while states where the outcome is obvious are likely to receive insignificant amounts or outright no ad money. The relationship is also observed in regards to campaign stops, albeit it appears to be much less clear cut, with other factors diminishing the influence of the Electoral College particularities. Finally, it is found that, among the closely-contested states that receive significant resources, it is the small states that are disproportionately favored. The paper suggests several avenues of further research – for instance, on the relationship between state size and resource or on the particular nature of campaign visits and the motivating factors.