What is the effect of a change in geographic location on the behavior of campaign donors? Looking at people who move presents a unique opportunity to assess the ways in which political behavior is altered by external circumstances. Holding the individual constant and observing how donation patterns vary under different external conditions allows us to explore donor behaviors in ways that are more difficult when using cross-sectional data. We use the DIME dataset to compare the donation behavior of over 7,000 individuals in the U.S. House election before and after they have moved. We observe the ways in which changes in the partisanship of the districts that they live in alter the share of their donations that go to each party. We find that the partisan composition of the districts that people arrive in influence their donation behavior – a move to a more Democratic district tends to increase the share of one’s donations that go to Democrats. We conclude by discussing what these findings can tell us about the partisan and strategic motivations of campaign donors.
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Routledge, an imprint of Taylor & Francis Group, in Journal of Elections, Public Opinions and Parties on November 2021, available online at https://doi.org/10.1080/17457289.2019.1652620
Kettler, Jaclyn J. and Lyons, Jeffrey. (2021). "The Fickle Financiers of Elections?: The Impact of Moving on Individual Contributions". Journal of Elections, Public Opinions and Parties, 31(2), 180-198. https://doi.org/10.1080/17457289.2019.1652620