Peverill Squire

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

The Journal of Politics

DOI of Published Version



Since 1980 the amount of money raised by incumbent senators during the first four years of their terms has increased dramatically. A widely held belief is that having a large campaign account well before the election scares the strongest potential challengers from making the race. Findings presented here show that almost every senator now engages in extensive early money raising, but that those senators who have the biggest number of potentially strong opponents back home are the most active in this regard. Large sums of early money do not, however, produce weaker challengers. Instead, the strength of the challenger is usually dictated by the size of the pool of strong candidates; where the number is large, one of the better candidates will make the race. Early money raising does not threaten the competitiveness of Senate elections.

Journal Article Version

Version of Record

Published Article/Book Citation

The Journal of Politics, 53:4 (1991) pp. 1150-1164.


Copyright © 1991 Southern Political Science Association. Used by permission.