Malbin's published research since 1999 has focused on money in politics in federal and state elections. Malbin was co-founder of the Washington D.C. based Campaign Finance Institute in 1999 and Executive Director from 1999 through July 2018. At that time, the Campaign Finance Institute became a division of the National Institute on Money in Politics and he remained the director of the Campaign Finance Institute division. The Campaign Finance Institute has been the nation's pre-eminent research institute specializing on money in politics in federal and state elections.
In the News
Aims to be a handbook of consistent information available to guide them through what the precedents have been for money in federal elections.
Explores some of the likely interplay between political parties and non-party organizations after the Supreme Court's decision in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission. Argues that even though the holding in McCutcheon may have been about aggregate contribution limits, the reasoning directly challenges the rationale for base contribution limits.
Finds that New York City's campaign finance matching fund program increased the number, proportional role, and diversity of small donors in city council elections but that the Los Angeles program was substantially less effective. Concludes with a discussion of major arguments for and against increasing small donor participation as a goal for public policy.
Examines independent spending in state elections before and after the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC. Finds that the decision did not have much of a direct effect on business spending, despite public expectations.
Reviews Robert E. Mutch's Buying the Vote: A History of Campaign Finance Reform, Raymond J. La Raja & Brian F. Schaffner's Campaign Finance and Political Polarization: When Purists Prevail, and Richard L. Hasen's Plutocrats United: Campaign Money, The Supreme Court, and the Distortion of American Elections.