Faculty Sponsor: Professor Gouri Suresh
In the past few decades political elections in the United States have become more and more expensive. In 2016 alone, $6.5 billion was spent on the US presidential and congressional elections combined. During this time there have also been arguments over the importance of candidate quality and if whether partisanship has come to dominate the political landscape. In this study, I attempt to isolate the effects of multiple variables on political election outcomes to investigate which variables most significantly impact elections and whether the recent increase in money in politics has had a real electoral effect, if partisanship does dominate, and if candidate quality matters significantly. By estimating a model of election outcomes in competitive 2018 House of Representatives districts, I show that partisanship and money significantly impact election outcomes. I am unable to prove that candidate quality has a significant impact however.