Research on Capitol Hill

Presenter and Co-Presenter(s)

Matthew R. Cude, Utah State UniversityFollow

Expected Graduation Year



College of Humanities and Social Sciences


Political Science Department

Faculty Mentor

Damon Cann


If 2016 voters agree on anything, perhaps it’s a frustration with the influence of money on politics. President-Elect Trump reminded GOP voters that, because he’s self-funding (at least in the primary), he “doesn’t owe anybody anything” Senator Sanders surprised everyone in his primary because of his relentless criticism of the “donor control of politicians.”

In our own state of Utah, Senator Hatch ran for re-election in 2012 and received a total of $5,360,274 in campaign contributions - 88.5% ($4.7 million) of that from out-of-state donors. His challengers didn’t stand a chance. This project’s research will provide more examples, but despite broad popular appeal for reform, efforts to reduce donor influence have stalled.

However, what if only registered voters could donate to campaigns? Many will claim the Supreme Court would never sanction such a law and they’d be right. But what if an Article V amendment, ratified by 34 states, made this “constitutional”?

This is the research project's objective. If such an amendment restricts campaign contributions to registered voters, what is the effect on campaigns and governance? How much money would Speaker Ryan raise if limited to registered voters in his Wisconsin CD? How would a New Hampshire Senator vote if she could no longer raise funds from NY or CA? Working with my PSA faculty sponsor, Dr. Damon Cann, we will present analysis of the potential effects of such a proposal on our political institutions.

First Co-Presenter's Department

Political Science Department

Document Type


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