Research

Publications

2020. Partisan Pandemic: How Partisanship and Public Health Concerns Affect Individuals’ Social Distancing During COVID-19. Science Advances. (With Joshua D. Clinton, Jon Cohen, and John S. Lapinski.)

Analyzing a total of over 1 million responses collected daily in the spring and summer of 2020 reveals not only that partisanship is more important than public health concerns for explaining individuals’ social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, but also that the effect of partisanship has grown over time – especially among Republicans.

2020. The Effects of High Information Environments on Legislative Behavior. Legislative Studies Quarterly. Winner of the Timothy E. Cook Best Graduate Student Paper Award in APSA Political Communication Section.

In this paper I leverage the roll-out of broadband internet and the 2002 Congressional redistricting to show that legislative behavior becomes more nationalized in high-information environments. Legislators redistricted to an area with more broadband connectivity act more in line with their parties, the President, and aligned interest groups.

2020. Get Information or Get in Formation? : Effects of High Information Environments on the Incumbency Effect and Partisan Voting. British Journal of Political Science.

Merging together data on the roll-out of broadband, legislative elections, candidate characteristics, and individual voters, I show that voters in high-information environments are less likely to make voting decisions for members of Congress that reward good behavior or punish bad behavior. Voters under these conditions cast more straight tickets, produce a smaller incumbency advantage, and are unresponsive to changes in their legislator's party-line voting.

Online Appendix

2019. Knock out Blows or the Status Quo? Momentum in the 2016 Primaries. The Journal of Politics. (With Joshua D. Clinton and Andrew M. Engelhardt.)

Leveraging a rolling cross-section of more than 325,000 interviews of US presidential primary voters, we show that there is little evidence for popular conceptions of electoral "momentum": where early wins and losses by candidates have an outsized impact on later voter opinion.

2017. At the nexus of observational and experimental research: Theory, specification, and analysis of experiments with heterogeneous treatment effects. Political Behavior, 39(4): 789-815. (With Cindy D. Kam.)

This paper discusses theoretical and statistical issues that can arise in testing hypotheses regarding heterogeneous treatment effects, and provide practical advice for researchers to avoid potential sources of bias.

2014. Consumer Demand for Cynical and Negative News Frames. The International Journal of Press/Politics, 19: 360-379. (With Stuart N. Soroka.)

Using an inventive survey-experiment, we show that there is consumer demand for negative and horse-race news frames. These results run contrary to the expectation that these frames are the byproduct of newsroom norms.

Papers Under Review

Look up at that Mansion on the Hill: Does Mass Media Activate the Politics of Resentment? (With Michael Shepherd.)

We hypothesize that a necessary feature of Rural Resentment is exposure and comparison to a relatively better off group (like affluent urban whites) ans/or a group perceived to be receiving special favors (like poor urban racial and ethnic minorities). We investigate whether these comparisons and resulting resentments are heightened by the Mass Media, leveraging discontinuities in TV-Markets to determine the effect of exposure to large cities. Poorer and whiter rural counties were much more likely to support Donald Trump in 2016 if they happened to be located in a Top-50 media market.

Working Papers

Elephant over the Airwaves: Examining the impact of American media on Canadian elections.

This paper leverages the 2009 roll-out of over-the-air digital television to determine if the United States exports its political polarization to Canada via the media. I estimate the expected TV signal in each of Ontario's 23,000 polling locations to show that areas exposed to more American media systematically shifted away from the centrist Liberal party towards the more ideologically extreme NDP and Conservative parties.

All the President's Papers: The Roll-Out of Broadband and the Nationalization of Local News

This paper examines the impact of the roll-out of high-speed broadband internet on local newspapers. I show that newspapers exposed to broadband saw a drop in circulation, and systematically shifted their political content towards the President and away from local members of Congress.