Research

My research focuses on American Politics and Political Methodology. My American Politics research focuses on voting behavior and public opinion, often with an historical focus. My methods interests include spatial analysis, survival analysis, and time series analysis.

My first book, Spatial Analysis for the Social Sciences, was published in 2015 by Cambridge University Press. My second book, Demography, Politics, and Partisan Polarization in the United States, 1828–2016, co-authored with Ryan Strickler, was published in 2019 by Springer. My research has also appeared in a variety of journals including the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, Political Geography, Political Behavior, Political Psychology, Political Research Quarterly, and State Politics & Policy Quarterly.

Books

Many theories in the social sciences predict spatial dependence or the similarity of behaviors at neighboring locations. Spatial Analysis for the Social Sciences demonstrates how researchers can diagnose and model this spatial dependence and draw more valid inferences as a result. The book is structured around the well-known Galton’s problem and presents a step-by-step guide to the application of spatial analysis. The book examines a variety of spatial diagnostics and models through a series of applied examples drawn from the social sciences. These include spatial lag models that capture behavioral diffusion between actors, spatial error models that account for spatial dependence in errors, and models that incorporate spatial heterogeneity in the effects of covariates. Spatial Analysis for the Social Sciences also examines advanced spatial models for time-series cross-sectional data, categorical and limited dependent variables, count data, and survival data.

Demography, Politics, and Partisan Polarization in the United States, 1828-2016 examines the geography of partisan polarization, or the reds and blues, of the political landscape in the United States. It places the current schism between Republicans and Democrats within a historical context and presents a theoretical framework that offers unique insights into the American electorate. The authors focus on the demographic and political causes of polarization at the local level across space and time. This is accomplished with the aid of a comprehensive dataset that includes the presidential election results for every county in the continental United States, from the advent of Jacksonian democracy in 1828 to the 2016 election. In addition, coverage applies spatial diagnostics, spatial lag models and spatial error models to determine why contemporary and historical elections in the United States have exhibited their familiar, but heretofore unexplained, political geography. Both popular observers and scholars alike have expressed concern that citizens are becoming increasingly polarized and, as a consequence, that democratic governance is beginning to break down. This book argues that once current levels of polarization are placed within a historical context, the future does not look quite so bleak. Overall, readers will discover that partisan division is a dynamic process in large part due to the complex interplay between changing demographics and changing politics.

ARTICLES

Darmofal, David, Nathan J. Kelly, Christopher Witko, and Sarah Young. “Government Ideology, Federalism, and Union Weakness in America.” Forthcoming, State Politics & Policy Quarterly.

Stein, Robert M., Christopher Mann, Charles Stewart III, Zachary Birenbaum, Anson Fung, Jed Greenberg, Farhan Kawsar, Gayle Alberda, R. Michael Alvarez, Lonna Atkeson, Emily Beaulieu, Nathaniel A. Birkhead, Frederick J. Boehmke, Joshua Boston, Barry C. Burden, Francisco Cantu, Rachael Cobb, David Darmofal, Thomas C. Ellington, Terri Susan Fine, Charles J. Finocchiaro, Michael D. Gilbert, Victor Haynes, Brian Janssen, David Kimball, Charles Kromkowski, Elena Llaudet, Kenneth R. Mayer, Matthew R. Miles, David Miller, Lindsay Nielson, Yu Ouyang, Costas Panagopoulos, Andrew Reeves, Min Hee Seo, Haley Simmons, Corwin Smidt, Rachel VanSickle-Ward, Jennifer Nicoll Victor, Abby Wood, Julie Wronski. “Waiting to Vote in the 2016 Presidential Election: Evidence from a Multi-county Study.” Forthcoming, Political Research Quarterly.

Christopher B. Mann, Gayle A. Alberda,  Nathaniel A. Birkhead, Yu Ouyang,  Chloe Singer, Charles Stewart III, Michael Herron, Emily Beaulieu, Frederick Boehmke, Joshua Boston, Francisco Cantu, Rachael Cobb, David Darmofal, Thomas C. Ellington, Charles J. Finocchiaro, Michael Gilbert, Victor Haynes, Brian Janssen, David Kimball, Charles Kromkowski, Elena Llaudet, Matthew R. Miles, David Miller, Lindsay Nielson, Costas Panagopoulos, Andrew Reeves, Min Hee Seo, Haley Simmons, Corwin Smidt, Robert Stein, Rachel VanSickle-Ward, Abby Wood, and Julie Wronski. 2018. “Pedagogical Value of Polling Place Observation by Students.” PS: Political Science & Politics 51(4): 831-837.

Crabtree, Charles, David Darmofal, and Holger Lutz Kern. 2015. “A Spatial Analysis of the Impact of West German Television on Protest Mobilization During the East German Revolution.” Journal of Peace Research 52(3) 269-284.

Darmofal, David, and Peter F. Nardulli. 2010. “The Dynamics of Critical Realignments: An Analysis Across Time and Space.” Political Behavior 32(2): 255-283.

Darmofal, David. 2010. “Reexamining the Calculus of Voting.” Political Psychology 31(2): 149-174.

Darmofal, David. 2009. “Bayesian Spatial Survival Models for Political Event Processes.” American Journal of Political Science 53(1): 241-257.

Box-Steffensmeier, Janet M., David Darmofal, and Christian A. Farrell. 2009. “The Aggregate Dynamics of Campaigns.” Journal of Politics 71(1): 309-323. Recipient of the Journal of Politics Best Paper Award, Southern Political Science Association.

Darmofal, David. 2008. “The Political Geography of the New Deal Realignment.” American Politics Research 36(6): 934-961.

Darmofal, David. 2006. “The Political Geography of Macro-Level Turnout in American Political Development.” Political Geography 25(2): 123-150.

Darmofal, David. 2005. “Elite Cues and Citizen Disagreement with Expert Opinion.” Political Research Quarterly 58(3): 381-395. Recipient of the Political Research Quarterly Best Article Award, Western Political Science Association.

Book chapters

Darmofal, David, and Christopher Eddy. “Spatial Data.” Forthcoming In The Sage Handbook of Research Methods in Political Science and International Relations, eds. Robert J. Franzese, Jr and Luigi Curini.

Stein, Robert, Christopher Mann, Charles Stewart III, Zachary Birenbaum, Anson Fung, Jeb Greenberg, Farhan Kawsar, Gayle Alberda, R. Michael Alvarez, Emily Beaulieu, Nathaniel A. Birkhead, Frederick Boehmke, Joshua Boston, Barry C. Burden, Francisco Cantu, Rachael Cobb, David Darmofal, Thomas C. Ellington, Terri Fine, Charles J. Finocchiaro, Michael Gilbert, Victor Haynes, Brian Janssen, David Kimball, Charles Kromkowski, Elena Llaudet, Ken Mayer, Matthew R. Miles, David Miller, Lindsay Nielson, Yu Ouyang, Costas Panagopoulos, Andrew Reeves, Min Hee Seo, Haley Simmons, Corwin Smidt, Rachel VanSickle-Ward, Jennifer Nicoll Victor, Abby Wood, and Julie Wronski. 2019. “Polling Place Practices.” In The Future of Election Administration, eds. Kathleen Hale and Bridgett A. King, eds. Palgrave.

Darmofal, David, and Ryan Strickler. 2016. “Bringing Together Spatial Demography and Political Science: Reexamining the Big Sort.” In Recapturing Space: New Middle-Range Theory in Spatial Demography, eds. Frank M. Howell, Jeremy R. Porter, and Stephen A. Matthews, pp. 139-156. Dordrecht: Springer.

Darmofal, David. 2011. “Toward a Realignment? The 2008 Election in Historical Perspective.” In Atlas of the 2008 Elections, ed. Stanley D. Brunn, Gerald R. Webster, Richard L. Morrill, Fred M. Shelley, Stephen J. Lavin, and J. Clark Archer. Boulder, CO: Rowman & Littlefield.

Additional Publications

Darmofal, David. 2012. “Modeling Spatial Heterogeneity with Geographically Weighted Regressions in R.” The Political Methodologist 19(2): 7-12.

Darmofal, David. 2011. “Event Counts.” In The International Encyclopedia of Political Science, eds. Bertrand Badie, Dirk Berg-Schlosser, and Leonardo Morlino. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Darmofal, David, and Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier. 2010. “Spatial Analysis.” In The Encyclopedia of Political Science, ed. George T. Kurian. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press.

Darmofal, David. 2007. “Bayesian Spatial Survival Analysis in WinBUGS.” The Political Methodologist 15(1): 4-8.