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Subsidizing DemocracyHow Public Funding Changes Elections and How It Can Work in the Future$
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Michael G. Miller

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452277

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452277.001.0001

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Candidate Quality

Candidate Quality

Chapter:
(p.80) 5 Candidate Quality
Source:
Subsidizing Democracy
Author(s):

Michael G. Miller

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801452277.003.0006

This chapter discusses the interplay of public funding, competition, and candidate “quality” in state legislative elections. In particular it explores the potential for gauging candidate quality and electoral competitiveness. The availability of campaign subsidies could encourage the entry of experienced candidates looking to challenge incumbents. Such challengers might gauge public funding as a vehicle to improve their funding position for a race that they may well have undertaken eventually, regardless of whether subsidies were available. Alternatively, public funding could empower political neophytes, encouraging them to wage a campaign that they may never otherwise have considered. Full funding in particular holds the potential to draw candidates into even the most unwinnable races, giving them the tools to run a serious campaign.

Keywords:   electoral competition, candidate quality, state legislative elections, political neophytes, political campaigns

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