1. Contentious Federalism: Sheriffs, state legislatures, and political violence in the American West. Forthcoming at Political Behavior.
- Replication and data available here.
- Media: Monkey Cage Blog, Salt Lake Tribune, and Mountain West News
2. Professionalism Advantage: Attracting, Fostering, or Retaining Quality? with Dan Butler
- Under review
- EGAP pre-analysis plan available here
- Presented at WPSA April 2019
The urban-rural divide in American politics has been presented as a comprehensive explanation for electoral outcomes, yet no research directly examines the variations in the urban-rural divide across the states. This dissertation asks whether urban and rural voters have different policy preferences, and which political institutions foster better representation of rural voters. I theorize that rural voters are uniquely cross-pressured because both major political parties have strategically chosen to pursue other voters, leaving rural voters out of step with each party on at least one political dimension. The Democratic Party has alienated rural voters by taking social stances that are incompatible with the values of rural voters, while the Republican Party does not support policies that could benefit rural communities. Using IRT analysis and data from the CCES, I create state-level measures of the urban-rural divide on social and economic policy issues. My analysis then uses the variation in party and legislative institutions to explain why certain states are able to solve the rural conundrum and adequately represent the preferences of rural constituents through their party platforms and legislative outcomes.