UC Davis Media Sources for Vice Presidential Nominee

Expertise Offered in Women and Voting Rights, Social Media, Race

Voter ballot
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University of California, Davis, has compiled a list of media sources who can lend perspective to the historic choice of Kamala Harris as vice presidential candidate. A full list of UC Davis election experts on various topics for media is also available here. UC Davis research on the gender gap, elections and women's history in the electorate is available here. 

These source lists are updated regularly, and available in the far right column of the UC Davis news site.

Women, voting rights, Puerto Rico

Lisa G. Materson, associate professor of history, is a specialist in U.S. women’s political history. She has researched the history of African American women’s mobilization as voters, suffragists, canvassers and candidates. African American women were at the forefront of the struggle for voting rights during the 19th and 20th centuries, and it is this longstanding leadership that helped to pave a political path for the election of President Barack Obama, she wrote in a blog article. She also did a UC Davis Live broadcast on the role of history in current elections. She has researched and spoken about the role of Puerto Rico in elections. She is author of the 2009 book For the Freedom of Her Race: Black Women and Electoral Politics in Illinois, 1877-1932. She is co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of American Women’s and Gender HistoryContact: lgmaterson@ucdavis.edu

How female candidates are portrayed, evaluated

Rachel Bernhard is an assistant professor of political science who studies how female candidates are portrayed and evaluated. She commented on those issues in this Capitol Public Radio interview. She received her doctoral degree in political science from UC Berkeley where she looked at how voters evaluate female candidates for office, particularly in low-information environments. She also served as postdoctoral prize fellow in politics at Nuffield College at the University of Oxford. In fall 2019 she taught a graduate seminar entitled “Identity and Discrimination in U.S. Politics.” She previously taught graduate courses on computational methods and undergraduate courses on research design and methods, political psychology, and democratic accountability. She worked for a few years in public health and education. Contact: ribernhard@ucdavis.edu

How media use and political talk influence the political divide

Magdalena Wojcieszak, professor of communication at UC Davis and associate researcher (ERC SG PI), University of Amsterdam, co-wrote an article about the Democratic primaries after Kamala Harris dropped out of the race. The article, “What Kamala Harris supporters’ media consumption habits say about who they might support next in the Democratic presidential primary” was published in the United States Politics and Policy Blog, London School of Economics. She also researches the role of social media in elections and recently participated with researchers nationwide on a study of social media in the current election. She co-authored an op-ed in The Conversation, “Trump Supporters Have Little Trust in Societal Institutions.” Wojcieszak is interested in how the changing media environment creates both opportunities and challenges for informed publics, tolerant citizenry, and responsive governance. Read this story about her research. Contact: mwojcieszak@ucdavis.edu 

UC Davis research on the gender gap, elections and women's history in the electorate is available here. 

Leadership, organizational perception

Kim Elsbach, Stephen G. Newberry Chair in Leadership in the UC Davis Graduate School of Management, studies how organizations, their leaders and individuals acquire and maintain images, identities and reputations. She is the author of the book, Organizational Perception Management. Elsbach says, “People in Western society do not like inconsistency in their leaders. It’s what gets a lot of leaders tripped up. There is so much pressure on leaders to be consistent that it outweighs the need to make the right decision or to be accurate.” Contact: 530-752-0910, kdelsbach@ucdavis.edu

Race and society, African American history

Justin Leroy is a historian of the 19th-century United States, specializing in African American history. Prior to joining UC Davis in 2016, he was a postdoctoral fellow in global American studies at Harvard University. He is at work on his first book, Freedom’s Limit: Racial Capitalism and the Afterlives of Slavery. He recently has commented for the media on recent racial unrest, the celebration of Juneteenth, and other current topics. Contact: jleroy@ucdavis.edu

Race and American politics

Isaac Hale, lecturer in the Department of Political Science, focuses on the intersection of race and American politics. He is also involved in projects analyzing how racial attitudes affect voter behavior and legislative representation, particularly in recent U.S. elections. Contact: idhale@ucdavis.edu

Media Resources

Karen Nikos-Rose, News and Media Relations, 530-219-5472, kmnikos@ucdavis.edu

Melissa Blouin, News and Media Relations, 530-752-2542, mlblouin@ucdavis.edu

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