Research Interests

Nearly all of my research has fallen under the general heading of "representation and electoral accountability"-how well do democratic elections function to represent the preferences of citizens and contribute to the welfare of societies? I have written extensively on presidential voting and the nature and origins of the so-called "incumbency advantage" in the U.S. Congress. An underlying theme of much of this work is the tension between representing the short-run interests of specific constituencies and achieving the long-run interests of the entire polity. More recently, I have been looking at an irony that has become apparent in recent years: Americans like government less and less at the same time that government at all levels has become more and more open to their influence. While various hypotheses have been offered, I am examining the hypothesis that participatory democracy itself is the explanation. Because people with extreme views are more likely to participate, a more participatory politics may well be a less representative politics.

Membership Type


Election Year


Primary Section

Section 53: Social and Political Sciences