surround themselves with. The study surveys and interview sample includes over 2000 donors in Santa Barbara County, including the communities of Santa Barbara, Montecito, Goleta, Santa Ynez, Buellton, Solvang, and Santa Maria.
This research is being funded through the Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship Program, which is sponsored by the National Research Council.
“Forecasting Money” | Submitted for peer review.
Abstract: Forecasting models have been utilized to predict elections. However, the application of forecasting models to other forms of political behavior is less common. Applying forecasting to other components of the election process may help us to further understand electoral behavior. This study tests the compatibility of forecasting with campaign spending by forecasting the amount of money spent by the congressional campaign committees from 1978 to 2008. Methods. Two separate models are generated. The first model predicts the spending efforts of the two major party campaign committees in the House. The second model predicts the spending efforts of the two campaign committees in the Senate. Results. Both models predict party spending efforts with high statistical accuracy. However, forecasting money is ultimately more accurate in the House. Ultimately, this paper hopes to open up the possibility of using forecasting to predict and explain forms of political behavior other than voting.
A version of this paper was presented at the 2008 Midwest Political Science Association Conference in Chicago, Illinois.
“Facebook and political engagement: A study of online political group membership and offline political engagement” | Forthcoming in Computers in Human Behavior
Abstract: In what ways do online groups help to foster political engagement among citizens? We employ a multi-method design incorporating content analysis of online political group pages and original survey research of university undergraduates (n = 455) to assess the effects of online group membership on political engagement measured through political knowledge and political participation surrounding the 2008 election. We find that participation in online political groups strongly predicts offline political participation by engaging members online. However, we fail to confirm that there is a corresponding positive effect on political knowledge, likely due to low quality online group discussion.
A version of this paper was presented at the 2009 American Political Science Association Conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This paper won the Best Graduate Student Paper for the Technology and Politics section.
Abstract: Recent scholarship looking at the effect of Internet use on political behavior finds activities such as online political group membership and political email correspondence to positively effect online political participation. Although we are optimistic about the capacity of the Internet to stimulate participation we suggest that the trend is diverging. To capture the effect, we consider different categories of offline participation and anticipate that online social networks are more likely to encourage social forms of participation. To test this relationship, we use original survey data administered to university undergraduates (n = 455). We find that political activity on the social networking website, Facebook, leads to increased social forms of participation offline, yet has no effect on measures of individualized participation.
A version of this paper was presented at the 2010 Southwestern Political Science Association Conference in San Francisco, California.
Hierarchical Linear Models: The Application of HLM to Political Science” | Submitted for exam field qualification
Abstract: Hierarchical linear models are a formidable statistical tool, able to deal with nested or hierarchical data and the issues that arise from using this type of data. This paper explains how hierarchical linear models work and more extensively talks about the shortcomings of political science in dealing with the confusing nature of the models. Through a basic explanation of the models and their specification, this paper attempts to clarify the complexity and ambiguity of hierarchical linear models. The models are then compared to more traditional forms of modeling in an example using data from the American National Election Survey. The paper ends by explaining the different ways in which the models can be employed by using data from the statistical program Stata.
|September 1, 2012||Poster presentation of Donating to Political Campaigns: The Habits and Behaviors of Donors in
Spatial Networks. [Dissertation research] at the American Political Science Association Conference, New Orleans, LA.
|September 1, 2012||Poster presentation of Facebook and Academic Performance. at the American Political Science Association Conference, New Orleans, LA.|
|April 12, 2012||Paper presentation of Discussant networks, spatial structures, and political donations: Why do people donate to political campaigns? at the Midwest Political Science Association Conference, Chicago, IL.|
|March 23, 2012||Paper presentation of Party Networks on Twitter: Ideological Extremism? at the Western Political Science Association Conference, Portland, OR.|
|September 2, 2010||Paper presentation of More Than Incumbency: Why We Donate to Political Campaigns [Dissertation research] at the American Political Science Association Conference, Washington DC.|
|April 2, 2010||Paper presentation of Terms of Engagement: Online Political Use of the Internet and Differential Forms of Offline Activity at the Western Political Science Association Conference, San Francisco, California.|
|September 6, 2009||Paper presentation of Facebook is… fostering civic engagement: A Study of Social Networking Sites and Civic Literacy at the American Political Science Association Conference, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Winner of the best graduate paper in the Technology & Politics section|
|April 11, 2009||Paper presentation of It’s Bush, Stupid: Retrospective Voting in the 2008 Election at the Southwestern Political Science Association Conference, Denver, Colorado.|
|March 21, 2009||Paper presentation of How Race and Gender Take a Backseat in the 2008 Election at the Western Political Science Association Conference, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.|
|April 6, 2008||Paper presentation of Forecasting Money: Predicting Fundraising from th Major Political Parties at the Midwest Political Science Association Conference, Chicago, Illinois.|