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La Raja Explains Money and Politics

"Don't blame donors for ideological polarization of political parties," says Raymond La Raja, Associate Professor of Political Science. A new article published by La Raja and David Wiltse (Briar Cliff University) in American Politics Research suggests that "politicians are not so much responsive to ideological extremism as they are strategic in mobilizing ideologues in pursuit of resources and electoral goals."

This research was also the focus of a National Public Radio Morning Edition story on out-of-state donors to political campaigns. "Donors are using their money to weigh in on ideological national issues, such as abortion, gay marriage and foreign policy, instead of focusing solely on local issues," says La Raja.

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