Ph.D. Spotlight: The Determinants of Vote Choice in Ballot Measure Elections

What types of informational cues do voters rely on when forming opinions? When does it matter for ballot measures? Is newspaper coverage biased in ballot endorsement elections? What types of bias do newspapers engage in? Does the bias of newspaper coverage in ballot elections affect the outcome of ballot measure elections? With an election just…

How News Outlets Set the Agenda for Public Conversation

Our work raises some cautionary notes. As the composition of the media landscape continues to evolve, changes in how outlets cover important political issues may also have repercussions for the quality of our ongoing national conversation. Similarly, our findings appear to be in line with the notion that coordinated campaigns pushing misinformation (whether through established news outlets or newly invented ones) can have a surprisingly large impact in this era of online media consumption.

How Legislators Use State Constitutions to Block Policy Changes They Oppose

Despite the potential gains and minimized costs, not all state-based policymakers should pursue constitutional amendments as legislative goals. Constitutional amendments require significant time and political capital to ensure success.  Policymakers that do not expect reelection, therefore should avoid this process.  Instead these legislators should use what little political capital they have to quickly enact general legislation in an attempt to codify their own policy preference rather than be subject to the preferences of those that will replace them.