Journal of Undergraduate Research


politics, donors, presidential campaigns, elections


Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Political Science


Politics is a contentious business. When candidates and parties are not fighting each other to win elections, they fight among themselves for nominations and for their competing visions of platform and policy. This intraparty tension has been a prominent feature of the 2016 election as progressivism fought centrism in the Democratic party and conservatism struggled with populism. While primary battles can be vicious, do separate factions unite to support their party’s candidate in the general election or are they more likely to withhold their support? While the literature has studied this phenomenon amongst voters, no study has examined divisiveness among the donor class. Are donors who gave to a losing candidate in the primary, less likely to give again in the general election? Or, do donors not care about who the candidate is and only that their preferred party win? I found evidence that suggests they are less likely and that divisiveness is a real phenomenon.