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Aseem Prakash is a professor of political science at University of Washington, Seattle. Most of Aseem's research focuses on environmental policy, climate change, voluntary regulations, and NGOs and nonprofits. In addition, he also writes on labor, gender, and human rights issues. His current projects are listed in 'see below.'
Many scholars have drawn particular attention to the critical nature of environmental issues in the 2020 elections. However, the literature on Congressional voting margins has typically focused on four primary schools of thought: corruption, incumbency advantage, campaign spending, and legislative voting record (but mostly in reference to pork barrel spending) (Jacobson and Carson 2019; Jacobson and Kernell 1983; Tufte 1975; Mayhew 1974; Jacobson 1978; Erikson 1971; Stein and Bickers 1994; Ferejohn 1977; Herrnson, Panagopoulos, and Bailey 2019; and Hibbings and Welch 1997). In contrast, this paper seeks to answer to what degree critical environmental voting as an explanatory variable is for the electorate in marginal congressional voting, which is a dependent variable that has been traditionally understudied in the literature. This project aims to examine how Congressional representatives’ prior environmental voting records in 2019 affected electoral margins for House races in the national 2o20 elections. The unit of analysis is the Congressional voting district, and will therefore draw on previous scholarship to generate dependent variables examining how legislative voting record influences marginal voting outcomes (Jacobson 1987; Jacobson 1989; Jacobson and Kernell 1983; Jacobson 2019). The key independent variable in this research design is the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) score of the House representative in 2019 as well as the representative’s lifetime LCV score. We will control for confounding variables such as Senate election present in the same distinct, gubernatorial election, district demography, presidential vote share, and PAC financing to isolate the relationship between environmental record and marginal electoral votes. Future research may expand this theoretical framework and question to include other “climate elections”.