Indian nations as interest groups: Tribal motivations for contributions to U.S. senators

Frederick J. Boehmke, Richard Witmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The expansion of Indian gaming has produced significant financial gains for Indian nations across the United States. In response to this influx of revenue, tribes have expanded their political activity, particularly in those areas that are heavily resource dependent. In this article the authors argue that adopting an organized interests perspective enhances scholars' understanding of tribal political activity. To demonstrate this, they study Indian gaming contributions received by senators from 1990 to 2004. The authors apply broadly utilized theories of contribution patterns based on the value of access for a group and the cost of access to a member, focusing on ideology, access, electoral security, and constituency characteristics. The results indicate that tribes respond to all of these factors in ways similar to more traditional organized interests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-191
Number of pages13
JournalPolitical Research Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


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