Not All Money Is Equal: The Differential Effect of Spending by Incumbents
and Challengers in Gubernatorial Primaries. Bardwell, Kedron. State Politics and Policy Quarterly, 2003, Vol. 3 Issue 3, p294-308
The author explores the difference spending makes in gubernatorial primary elections in regards to incumbents versus challengers. He takes various research data from other political scientists and combines it with his own to draw a conclusion on whether or not campaign spending has a significant effect on gubernatorial primaries. Bardwell also discusses the variables that make a difference in the primary elections such as state size, incumbent recognition, past political experience of the challenger and state campaign spending limits. After dealing with these issues, he goes on to hypothesize about the chances a challenger has in defeating an incumbent and how often that actually happens.
The author studies this subject because incumbents almost always win the nomination in the primary elections. This is the case in every state, and each party. This is because of several reasons; the first and most prevalent reason is recognition of the incumbents name and/or face. The voters already know the incumbents name, and some know his stance on most of the issues. A challenger must work twice as hard to get that same recognition. That is where the campaign spending comes into play. An incumbent does not have to spend large amounts of money buying voter recognition; he/she has had the opportunity to do that the entire time they are in office. It is also easier and less time consuming for an incumbent to raise money for their campaign because they have been in the situations to meet the 'right people and organizations' during their term.
Campaign spending for challengers, however, is mandatory if the challenger wants to have a chance...