Campaign Contributions and U.S. Foreign Policy Outcomes: An Analysis of Cuban American Interests


  • Trevor Rubenzer is Assistant Professor of political science, University of South Carolina, Upstate, 800 University Way, Spartanburg, SC 29303 (

  • I am indebted to Steven B. Redd for his comments and suggestions. I would also like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments. Data for replication purposes can be obtained by emailing


To what extent are ethnic minority interest groups able to influence U.S. foreign policy? Current case study research has identified several factors that may condition the ability of diasporic groups to influence foreign policy toward ancestral “homelands.” To this point, existing studies have been unable to isolate the impact of campaign contributions from other factors that may influence U.S. foreign policy decision making. The current study uses a combination of conditional and standard logistic regression to examine the impact of Cuban American interest group and individual campaign contributions on a series of votes on key amendments in the 108th and 109th Congresses. Results from the study support the idea that the Cuban diasporic community in the United States has had an impact on U.S. foreign policy toward Cuba. However, there are significant limits to this influence conditioned in part by issue salience.