Residence histories and electoral success in the Arizona legislature

Brenda A. Buren, Kevin McHugh

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Abstract

This article examines the relationship between residence histories of political candidates and electoral success using a state level election in Arizona as a case study. We develop and test a model that predicts electoral outcomes (win or lose) among candidates seeking election to the Arizona House of Representatives in 1988. The model includes a measure of incumbency, political party affiliation, demographic characteristics, and four residence history measures. The central findings is that duration of residence in the legislative district affects the probability of electoral success over and above other explanatory variables. Duration of residence is particularly crucial in differentiating successful and unsuccessful nonincumbent candidates. We argue that duration of residence is a significant predictor of electoral outcomes because it serves as a surrogate for the accumulation of political capital and support. We conclude by raising questions about the role of migration and residence histories in the electoral process in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-118
Number of pages12
JournalThe Social Science Journal
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1992

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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