Competitive, vigorous campaigns have been shown to increase participation across a variety of elections, including those at the state and local level. Building on previous work that examines the impact of money in judicial elections, this study explores the impact of campaign effort on participation in state court elections. Using data from 260 state Supreme Court elections occurring from 1990 to 2004 across 18 states, I find that competitive campaigns—not just expensive ones—are important for encouraging participation in these contests. Additionally, the study uncovers differential effects of challenger and incumbent spending. Ultimately, the findings contribute to our understanding of campaign effects in judicial elections while also providing an additional test of the idea that campaigns matter, especially in low-information contests.
Heideman, A. J. (2019). Is It All About the Money? How Campaigns Spur Participation in State Court Elections. Justice System Journal, 40(3), 221–237. https://doi.org/10.1080/0098261X.2019.1623138