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The Effects of Charges of Corruption on Voting Behavior in Congressional Elections

  • John G. Peters (a1) and Susan Welch (a1)

This study assesses the electoral impact of charges of corruption on candidates in contests for the U.S. House of Representatives in five elections from 1968 to 1978. This assessment includes a consideration of the victory or defeat of alleged or convicted corrupt candidates, and an examination of the impact of corruption charges on electoral turnout and percentage of votes polled by the accused candidates. While most candidates accused of corruption are reelected, overall they appear to suffer a loss of 6–11 percent from their expected vote. The type of corruption charge is an important determinant of vote loss. Allegations of corruption appear to have little effect on the net turnout.

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American Political Science Review
  • ISSN: 0003-0554
  • EISSN: 1537-5943
  • URL: /core/journals/american-political-science-review
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