Legislators in Congress receive millions of dollars in 'contributions' from lobbies and organizations. House of Representatives alone received around $15 million open donations in 2016 for election only. Question is, do lobby contributions affect voting on policies? We look for voting and donation patterns on 20 policies across Republican and Democrat Representatives for the 114th Congress (2015 to 2017).
The first graph shows how many Representatives voted in the same direction as their lobbyists and how many opposed their lobbyists. The second graph shows the average contributions a candidate in each group received. Across the 20 policies we see that Republicans receive significantly more donations than Democrats. The former also seem to vote more regularly in favor* of their lobbyist. Representatives who do not vote tend to receive the highest donations.
In 19 out 20 policies, Representatives who voted in the same direction as their lobbyists outnumber those who went directly against their lobbyists.
Master's Project, Fall 2018
By Osman Malik in collaboration with Prof. Suresh K Lodha and Prof. Chen Qian
Disclaimer: 'in favor', 'in support of/for', and 'in the same direction as' phrases are used to signify that Representatives voted 'yes' when their highest lobbyists were supporting the bill, or voted 'no' when their highest lobbyists were opposing the bill. This page does not intend to claim in any way that a Representative voted the way they did because of a lobby's contribution.