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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter August 30, 2018

The Trump Effect: Filing Deadlines and the Decision to Run in the 2016 Congressional Elections

Gavin Riley and Jacob Smith
From the journal The Forum

Abstract

In this paper, we examine whether the nomination of Donald Trump for president affected decisions to run for Congress in 2016 in states with later filing deadlines. We theorize that the perception among potential candidates that Donald Trump would be a weak nominee had the potential to entice high-quality Democratic candidates (defined as those who have previously held an elective office) to run for Congress as it became increasingly clear that Donald Trump would be the Republican presidential nominee. We also examine an alternative hypothesis that the impending Trump nomination enhanced political amateurs’ perception they could win in 2016, enticing them to run for Congress. Using a novel dataset from PredictIt, we find support for the second hypothesis, with more political amateurs running as the Trump nomination became more likely. These findings suggest that Donald Trump’s nomination had important consequences that went beyond the presidential race.

Acknowledgments

Thank you to Jonathan Spiegler, Simon Hoellerbauer, Jason Roberts, Sarah Treul, anonymous reviewers, editors, and audience members at the 2017 Midwest Political Science Association conference for helpful suggestions on this paper and to PredictIt for sharing data from their market on the 2016 Republican nomination.

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Published Online: 2018-08-30

©2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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