- Voter Preferences; Technology; Shale; Corporate Political Influence; Political Change; Political Economy
Hydraulic fracturing generated unexpected shale oil and gas booms. After these booms, voter support for Republicans rises, leading Republicans to win seats from Democrats. Corporate donations to Republicans increase, but voter preferences on policy issues do not. Roll-call voting by House members becomes more conservative across issues extending beyond energy or the economy. But these changes only occur due to shifts in incumbency, as individual politicians do not alter behavior. This evidence is consistent with firms effecting political change by helping their allies win elections instead of affecting the behavior of incumbents, which in turn creates spillovers to other issues.