Political Science Professor Featured in Washington Post

By Elizabeth Romero, Student Intern of CHASS College Computing

Kevin Esterling, associate professor of Political Science, was used as a source for a recent article by Washington Post online writer Shankar Vedantam. Vedantam’s article is titled Big Political Donors Just Looking for Favors? Apparently Not.

Esterling’s studies evaluated the relevance of the size of political contributions to the 203 members of Congress. Esterling noted that "money systematically flowed" away from politicians that were constantly in the limelight.

Esterling also studied congressional committee hearings, looking for statements that were politically directed, versus those directed just "to make good sound bites." Vedantam states that Esterling "quickly established a clear pattern: Lawmakers who were the most analytical at hearings received the largest campaign contributions. In turn, they were more likely to be elected." Through this analysis, it would appear that more "workhorses" are present in Congress compared to the number of "show horses."

"If you have competing arguments, the better argument tends to prevail" Esterling said.

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