Primary Day Campaign Yard Signs in Pennsylvania's 13th District -- May 21, 2015

Primary Day Campaign Yard Signs in Pennsylvania's 13th District -- May 21, 2015

Campaign Contribution Networks

Few changes to American politics have been as pronounced as the dramatic increase in polarization between the two major parties. Whereas campaign donors once predominantly supported incumbents regardless of party, more recently they have become more divided by party. Using FEC records prepared by Bonica (2013), this project maps the networks of campaign donors from 1980 to present. By utilizing network based measures of polarization that account for the increasing division in campaign donors between parties and increasing cohesion within parties and time series measures of polarization within Congress, this project provides evidence that campaign donors have helped drive polarization. 

Working Papers

"Dividing the Dollars: Contribution Networks and Political Polarization." 2017. Presented at MPSA 2017. 

"Campaign Contributions and the Extended Party Network." 2017.  

Parties on the Ground 

A holistic approach to the study of House Nominations during the 2014 primary election cycle. Co-authored with Kathleen Bawn, Knox Brown, Angela Ocampo, John Ray, and John Zaller. 

Working Papers

"Parties on the Ground: A Preliminary Report on Open Seat Nominations." 2014. with Kathleen Bawn, Knox Brown, Angela Ocampo, John Ray, and John Zaller. Presented at APSA 2014. 

"Social Choice and Coordination Problems in Open House Primaries." 2015. with Kathleen Bawn, Knox Brown, Angela Ocampo, John Ray, and John Zaller. Presented at APSA 2015. 

Congressional Primary Exit Polls 

The first exit poll of congressional primary voters from four competitive House primaries in the 2014 primary election cycle. Co-authored with Stephanie DeMora, Andrew Dowdle, Spencer Hall, Mark Meyers, Angela Ocampo, and John Zaller. 

Working Papers

"He Who Can Make Nominations is the Owner of the Party: Evidence from Field Studies of Four House Nominations." 2015. with Stephanie DeMora, Andrew Dowdle, Spencer Hall, Mark Myers, and John Zaller. Presented at APSA 2015. 

Demographics and Discretion 

Do racial demographics influence how welfare policies are implemented? Despite a wide literature showing the negative relationship between size of minority populations and the generosity of welfare programs, these measures rely on limits set by legislation. By looking at the implementation of TANF programs, the conclusions become more complicated -- whether the outcome is measured by the average benefits actually received, the likelihood of an application being accepted, or the probability of experiencing sanctions, the influence of demographics is either severely muted, or not at all. 

Working Papers

"Discretion and Design: Racial Influences on TANF Implementation." 2017. Accepted to APSA 2017

Campaign Contribution Networks

Few changes to American politics have been as pronounced as the dramatic increase in polarization between the two major parties. Whereas campaign donors once predominantly supported incumbents regardless of party, more recently they have become more divided by party. Using FEC records prepared by Bonica (2013), this project maps the networks of campaign donors from 1980 to present. By utilizing network based measures of polarization that account for the increasing division in campaign donors between parties and increasing cohesion within parties and time series measures of polarization within Congress, this project provides evidence that campaign donors have helped drive polarization. Beyond our understanding of elite polarization, this project has implications for our study of money in politics and congressional representation.

Working Papers

"Dividing the Dollars: Contribution Networks and Political Polarization." 2017. Presented at MPSA 2017. 

Combat Experience and Political Preferences

On issues of foreign policy, do veterans behave differently than other members of Congress? Existing literature that explores the voting records of veteran representatives focuses on the post-Vietnam era, in which the diminishing number of representatives with military experience show little differentiation on foreign policy voting. But is “military service” a uniform experience? This paper further explores the link between military service as a crucial shaper of beliefs by examining potential differences between veteran-representatives with combat experience, those that served in non-combat capacities, and those with no military experience at all. By utilizing a dataset consisting of Senate biographies from 1789 to present, we systematically compare the effect of particular military experiences on roll call votes regarding foreign policy proposals. 

Working Papers

"Warriors as Politicians: The Effect of Combat Experience on Congressional Voting." 2016. with Soumi Chatterjee. Presented at MPSA 2016.