Tapping motives and dynamics behind campaign contributions: Insights from the Asian American case

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Campaign donors are sometimes characterized as investors who carefully allocate their financial resources to candidates and/or political action committees to maximize their influence. Although this theory has some veracity, it does not adequately describe all contributors. The patterns of Asian American contributions imply that their interests are strongly tied to ethnicity rather than to alternative influence-maximizing strategies. Indeed, contrary to popular belief, Asian Americans predominantly fund candidates of their own ethnicity. The campaign finance data are virtually devoid of pan-Asian coalitions. A detailed study of the behavior of Asian American donors is useful in its own right. More important, an accurate portrait of the Asian American donor highlights the crudeness of a strictly rational sketch of campaign contributors and adds to our understanding of the logic behind political behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-383
Number of pages37
JournalAmerican Politics Research
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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