The Effect of War Chests on Challenger Entry in U.S. House Elections

In this article, Jay Goodliffe challenges conventional wisdom on the effect of war chests in U.S. House elections. As many “reformers” suggest that war chests daunt challengers and effectively prevent them from choosing to enter a race against an incumbent, Goodliffe attempts to shed light on this misconception by proving that previous studies fail to take important variables into account when studying the effectiveness of war chests. Through this bivariate analysis, Goodliffe finds that “incumbent spending and incumbent wealth have negligible effects on electoral outcomes.” Contrary to the beliefs of “reformers,” Goodliffe explains that incumbents raise funds in preparation for a strong challenger and not to deter a strong challenger.

For further reading on this issue in other studies by Jay Goodliffe, see:

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