Political science

Tracking coronavirus in the headlines

One of the first projects I posted on this site discussed how to scrape headlines from Memeorandum.com, a news aggregation site with an easy-to-use archival feature that makes it possible to browse news stories all the way back to 2004. In that post, I commented on how Memeorandum, which uses an algorithm to find and cluster American news from across the political spectrum, can be thought of as a rich and accessible source for text data.

Late ballot swings in Seattle's Democratic presidential primary

A little overdue, but I finally took the time to dig into some local primary results after Washington voted on March 10th. While working on the Shaun Scott campaign I learned that Seattle election results can swing wildly after election night thanks to King County’s vote-by-mail system. Last fall, late ballots swung decisively toward the progressive candidates for city council in both the primary and general elections, and while our campaign came a few points short in D4, we closed the gap considerably after all votes were counted.

Presidential election shifts, 2000-2016

Back when I was in the DCL, some of my favorite assignments involved recreating graphics from The Upshot at the The New York Times. I was working on some post-primary analysis for the Shaun Scott campaign recently when I recalled a graphic from 2016 that compared county-level election results between the 2016 and 2012 presidential races. I like this style of electoral map because it draws the viewer’s attention to the change taking place on election night, and it indicates which direction the country is headed at a glance.

Working paper available for comment

A draft of my recent work on leaked emails and political knowledge is now available for comment. Below is a copy of the abstract, for reference. In scholarly and popular discourse, leaks have long been associated with transparency, but their potential as a source of disinformation has gone largely unexamined. The turmoil of the 2016 U.S. presidential election cast doubt on leaks’ association with the truth by demonstrating the potentially disorienting impact of leaked emails on political knowledge and discourse.

Continuing research on leaked emails and disinformation

Some surprising news for those who spent the past year listening to me complain about writing my honors thesis: it’s time for round two! Thanks to the initiative and support of Professor Francis Fukuyama, I’ll be spending some time in the coming year revisiting the research I pursued as an honors student with the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. Funding comes courtesy of the Knight Foundation, and my findings will eventually be made available in a report written for Stanford’s Project on Democracy and the Internet.