2020 Winner: Analyzing the Effects of Federal Aid on Partisan Representation in the American States

Project Information
Analyzing the Effects of Federal Aid on Partisan Representation in the American States
Social Sciences
Politics Department -- Politics 190M: Politics in the American States
Federal aid, while given to each and every one of the individual fifty states, often differs in the scope of the aid and the effects of the aid. This issue is of incredible significance for the reason that there is no one clear method of determining how federal aid affects partisanship in the states. Other research conducted analyzes the effects that partisan affiliation has on dispersing aid to the states, but this study explores that relationship in the opposite way. How does federal aid received affect the partisanship in a state? In order to conduct this research, it was necessary to take the federal aid each state received as a measure of general state revenue in order to show how dependent each state was on the federal government to create revenue. Then, it was necessary to rank the fifty states for this metric, and analyze what percentage of elected officials in the various states were members of the Republican Party. Ultimately, this research showed that there is a correlation between larger proportions of federal aid in a state’s general revenue and an increased proportion of Republican elected officials in a given state. These findings prove to be significant to the realm of political science, because they mean that Republican-leaning states are more likely to be more dependent on federal aid, regardless of the majority control in the legislature and the party platform of the Republican party.
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  • Parker James Strohmeyer (Oakes)