Iowa State University

Iowa State University
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 
E-Mail/Phones |

News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, manager,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

10-22-04

Contacts:

Robert Lowry, political science, (617) 384-9311

David Gieseke, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences,
(515) 294-7742

Kevin Brown, News Service, (515) 294-8986

National Science Foundation funds ISU research on influence of political parties

AMES, Iowa -- An Iowa State University political scientist has received a $90,000 National Science Foundation grant to study the influence of national political parties on local, state and national elections.

Robert Lowry, associate professor of political science, said the study, "National Party Committees, Competitive Elections, and State Autonomy Before and After the Bipartisan Campaign," focuses on how national committees and their distribution of large sums of money nationwide affect the competitiveness of elections.

"There are a lot of house district seats where even incumbents raise very little money from their own districts," Lowry said. "And there is a surprising amount that raise no money whatsoever."

Lowry will study the 1998 and 2000 Congressional elections using information from the Federal Election Commission to track the trail of money from the two major party committees.

"While the Federal Election Commission does not track donations to candidates from PACs (political action committees) or donations of less than $200, it does indicate who is donating large amounts of money and where those funds are coming from," Lowry said.

Increasingly, election funding comes from the two major national political parties, he said. Lowry also will study if money from those organizations had an impact on close U.S. House and Senate races.

"In a close race, the national parties don't care if you are necessarily a loyal Democrat or a loyal Republican," he said. "Only that you are a Democrat or a Republican with a chance to win a seat in Congress."

Lowry will examine whether increased funding by the national parties increases voter turnout by looking at elections in 1998 and 2000 and early information from the 2004 elections.

Lowry is on leave this semester while serving as a visiting scholar with Harvard University's Center for Basic Research in Social Sciences, Cambridge, Mass.

-30-

Quick look

An Iowa State University political scientist has received a $90,000 National Science Foundation grant to study the influence of national political parties on local, state and national elections. Robert Lowry, associate professor of political science, said the study, "National Party Committees, Competitive Elections, and State Autonomy Before and After the Bipartisan Campaign," focuses on how national committees and their distribution of large sums of money nationwide affect the competitiveness of elections.

Quote

"In a close race, the national parties don't care if you are necessarily a loyal Democrat or a loyal Republican. Only that you are a Democrat or a Republican with a chance to win a seat in Congress."

Robert Lowry