University of Denver
Department of Political Science
Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles (Political Science, 2004)
M.A. The George Washington University (Campaign Management, 1996)
B.A. University of California at Berkeley (Political Science, 1991)
Director, Center on American Politics, University of Denver, 2017 – present
Chair, Department of Political Science, University of Denver, 2012 – 2017
Professor, University of Denver, 2016 – present
Associate Professor, University of Denver, 2010 – 2016
Assistant Professor, University of Denver, 2004 – 2010
The Inevitable Party
Why Attempts to Kill the Party System Fail and how They Weaken Democracy (2016)
This book examines five state-level anti-party reforms and looks at why they failed. These reforms range from from open primaries to campaign finance restrictions to nonpartisan legislatures, and the research utilizes legislative roll call votes, campaign donations patterns, and extensive interviews with local political elites.
No Middle Ground
How Informal Party Organizations Control Nominations and Polarize Legislatures (2009)
In recent years political parties have gained strength in state governments as well as in Washington. In many cases these parties function as machines. Unlike machines of the past that manipulated votes, however, today’s machines determine which candidates can credibly compete in a primary. Focusing on the history and politics of California, this book reveals how these machines evolved and how they stay in power by directing money, endorsements, and expertise to favored candidates, who often tend toward the ideological extreme.
SELECTED JOURNAL PUBLICATIONS
“What Is, and Isn’t, Causing Polarization in Modern State Legislatures,” PS: Political Science & Politics, 2019.
The Ground Game in the 2012 Election,” Political Communication, 2016 (with John Sides and Lynn Vavreck).
“Kingmakers or Cheerleaders? Party Power and the Causal Effects of Endorsements,” Political Research Quarterly, 2015 (with Thad Kousser, Scott Lucas, and Eric McGhee).
“Polarization without Parties: Term Limits and Legislative Partisanship in Nebraska’s Unicameral Legislature,” State Politics and Policy Quarterly, 2015 (with Boris Shor).
“Does Public Election Funding Create More Extreme Legislators? Evidence from Arizona and Maine,” State Politics and Policy Quarterly, 2015 (with Michael Miller).
“Mobilizing Marginalized Groups among Party Elites,” The Forum, 2014 (with Michael Heaney and Dara Strolovitch).
“A Primary Cause of Partisanship? Nomination Systems and Legislator Ideology,” The American Journal of Political Science, 2014 (with Eric McGhee, Nolan McCarty, Steve Rogers, and Boris Shor).
“527 Committees, Formal Parties, and Party Adaptation,” The Forum, 2013 (with Richard Skinner and David Dulio).
“Polarized Networks: The Organizational Affiliations of National Party Convention Delegates,” American Behavioral Scientist, 2012 (with Michael Heaney, Joanne Miller, and Dara Strolovitch).
“A Theory of Political Parties: Groups, Policy Demands, and Nominations in American Politics,” Perspectives on Politics, 2012 (with Kathleen Bawn, Marty Cohen, David Karol, Hans Noel, and John Zaller).
“One Vote out of Step? The Effects of Salient Roll Call Votes in the 2010 Election,” American Politics Research, 2012 (with Brendan Nyhan, Eric McGhee, John Sides, and Steven Greene).
“The Gerrymanderers are Coming! Legislative Redistricting Won’t Affect Competition or Polarization Much, No Matter Who Does It,” PS: Political Science & Politics, 2012 (with Jonathan Winburn and Gerald C. Wright).
“527 Committees and the Political Party Network,” American Politics Research, 2012 (with Richard Skinner and David Dulio).
“Serving Two Masters: Using Referenda to Assess Partisan versus Dyadic Legislative Representation,” Political Research Quarterly, 2011 (with Hans Noel).
“Academics Outside the Academy,” The Forum, 2010.
“The Circus That Wasn’t: The Republican Party’s Quest for Order in the 2003 California Gubernatorial Recall,” State Politics and Policy Quarterly, 2011.
“Did Obama’s Ground Game Matter? The Influence of Local Field Offices During the 2008 Presidential Election,” Public Opinion Quarterly 2009.
“Cooperative Party Factions in American Politics,” American Politics Research, 2010 (with Gregory Koger and Hans Noel).
“Partisan Webs: Information Exchange and Party Networks,” British Journal of Political Science, 2009 (with Gregory Koger and Hans Noel).
“Where You Sit is Where You Stand: The Impact of Seating Proximity on Legislative Cue-Taking,” Quarterly Journal of Political Science, 2008.
“It Takes an Outsider: Extra-legislative Organization And Partisanship In The California Assembly, 1849-2006,” The American Journal of Political Science, 2007.
“Ideological Adaptation? The Survival Instinct of Threatened Legislators,” The Journal of Politics, 2007 (with Thad Kousser and Jeffrey B. Lewis).
“A Return to Normalcy? Revisiting the Effects of Term Limits on Competitiveness and Spending in California Assembly Elections,” State Politics and Policy Quarterly, 2007 (with Jeffrey B. Lewis).
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