Time for a New “Polar Poll”

Every year that I teach “Quantitative Analysis in Political Science,” I work with the students to design and field a poll of Bowdoin students.  The exercise is meant to give students exposure to the challenges of question wording and survey analysis.  We usually ask standard “feeling thermometer” questions of certain Bowdoin administrators or institutions, like […]

Teaching and Protests in 2003

I reflected recently on my first solo teaching gig: a mid-level course (with 170+ students) I offered as a grad student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2003, now 15 years ago.  The course was called “American Politics and Government,” and it was basically an Intro to American Government class for upperclassmen, mostly non-majors.  The […]

Tracking Exams

Over the years I have tried many different exam formats: the traditional in-class with blue book vs timed take-homes, for example.  In some years when I’ve done the more old-fashioned in-class exam, I’ve taken to noting on the back of completed exams the order of completion (i.e., the student done first is 1 and the […]

New Data Collection in Process

I study campaigns and elections, and in particular campaign advertising and election financing.  I devoted a fair amount of work in my dissertation to studying the Federal Election Commission’s (FEC) reading of Advisory Opinions (AOs) on permissible electioneering and fund-raising.  In recent months, I’ve worked to collect all recorded votes at the FEC on those […]


I had the chance on September 18th to make some comments on redistricting and gerrymandering before a much longer (and fantastic) presentation from Moon Duchin of Tufts University.  My remarks and Moon’s can be seen in the video below.  My written comments are also here.

Convocation 2017

I had the great honor of speaking to the class of 2021 at Bowdoin College’s 216th Convocation Ceremony.  The title of the talk was: “Promoting Empiricism in the Age of Alternative Facts.”  My comments can be see below, beginning at about the 14:00 mark. The comments in written form are here.    

Jettisoned Papers

Sometimes you work hard on a paper (for a conference, perhaps), and can be happy with the results, but the paper never seems to find the light of day.  That can happen a lot, and for lots of different reasons: reviewers hated it; the results are just too weak; other papers take priority and revisions […]