Works in Progress
"Where and When to Use Areal Interpolation Matching Relative to Spatial Audits" with John Curiel. (Revise and resubmit at State Politics and Policy Quarterly)
"No Experience Required: Early Donations and Amateur Candidate Success in Primary Elections" with Rachel Porter. (Revise and resubmit at Legislative Studies Quarterly)
The electoral dominance of "quality'' candidates---political insiders with past electoral experience---is well-established. However, research on the recent rise in successful political neophytes is less studied. Despite longstanding trends in the predominance of experienced candidates in primary elections, nearly half of all quality candidates who ran in non-incumbent races lost to a candidate without prior electoral experience in 2018. In this article, we investigate the success of political newcomers by examining a topic often overlooked in the growing literature on primaries: campaign finance. We show that political newcomers are most successful when they collect early money from outside their congressional district. Further, we find evidence that out-of-district donors look to amateurs as "surrogate representatives" for their values and interests in Congress. We demonstrate that forces outside a candidate's own district play a much greater role in explaining the dynamics of congressional primary elections than previously thought.
"Surrogate Representation in the United States House of Representatives." (Under review)
While geographic-based representation for members of the U.S. House of Representatives is constitutionally mandated, the "lines" of American politics have become blurred. Citizens contact, volunteer, and donate to members of Congress from across the country despite having no territorial relationship with them. Surrogate representation—the representation of Americans by legislators outside their legislative district—is an understudied phenomenon that offers insights into how, and why, these relationships form. In this paper, I offer a psychological theory of representation where legislators make group-based representative claims that are accepted by citizens across political boundaries—thus facilitating surrogate representation. Using campaign contributions to U.S. House members from 2012-2018, I demonstrate that surrogate representatives see a significantly larger percentage of their total constituencies comes from outside their congressional district. The evidence presented here challenges the standard account of representation in American politics and calls for a more robust examination of surrogate representation in contemporary politics.