Date of Completion

May 2005


This paper investigates the effects on open-seat races in the United States House of Representatives. This project focuses on the influence that the House leadership exerts on races. Generally, the leadership influences race through spending by party organizations and leadership visits. During each election cycle, national party organizations spend millions of dollars to get their candidates into office. I have developed a multiple regression model that measures different types of spending from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the Republican National Committee and the effects of these spending types on the election results. Also, the study examines the number of visits by each party’s leadership to each race. I introduced control variables that account for the year, the competitiveness of each race, and the individual candidate fundraising. In terms of statistical significance, the results were mixed showing one type of party spending to be highly influential in the outcome of the race. Competitiveness and individual candidate fundraising also achieved statistical significance. The study also includes a qualitative investigation of leadership visits and individual case studies in order to understand better the way in which the data interact in real campaigns.