Work In Progress

Interest Group Venue Selection under Resource and Salience Constraints (with Geoff Lorenz)

When most people think of lobbyists they think of unconstrained interest groups with undue influence in Congress; but, that's not the whole story. Congress is not the only place that interest groups can influence policy. Furthermore, the ability of interest groups to influence policy varies. In this paper, we investigate how salience and interest group resource capacity influence the decision of interest groups to lobby Congress, the Executive branch, or both. We argue that the decision to lobby one venue is dependent on the lobbying decision in another venue. For example, when Congress demonstrates its salience for immigration by increasing the number of hearings on immigration interest groups do not only begin lobbying Congress more, but they also lobby the Executive branch less. We also find that the ability to lobby one or both venues is constrained by the interest group's resource capacity. Interest groups are more likely to lobby both venues as their resource capacity increases. 

Whitewashing: How Obama Used Implicit Racial Cues as a Defense Against Political Rumors (with Vincent Hutchings, Vanessa Cruz Nichols, and Spencer Piston) 

​​In addition to the typical obstacles faced by candidates when they run for office, minority candidates encounter stereotypes based on their race or ethnicity. To combat these biases, we argue that candidates strategically appeal to the white community by emphasizing their connections to the white electorate. We employ an original survey experiment to assess Barack Obama's use of racial imagery during his 2008 presidential campaign ads in an attempt to combat negative stereotypes and false rumors. We find that this strategy was most effective among white Republicans. We validate our findings using nationally representative observational surveys.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship under Grant No. 1256260. Any opinion, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.