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Benjamin Highton


  • Ph.D., Political Science, University of California, Berkeley, 1998
  • A.B., Political Science, Brown University, 1990 (magna cum laude)


After receiving his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley, Ben Highton worked for a year in Washington, DC, for a U.S. Senator as part of the American Political Science Association's Congressional Fellowship Program. While there, he specialized in education policy. He joined the UC Davis political science department in 1999 and teaches and conducts research in the areas of public opinion, elections, and research methods.

Research Focus

His research and teaching interests include American national politics, political behavior, elections, public opinion, and research methods.

Selected Publications

  • Highton, B., McGhee, E., & Sides, J. (2015) Election lab post-mortem, PS: Political Science and Politics 48:298-299.
  • Highton, B., Schickler, E., & Wolfinger, N. (2015) In Memoriam: Raymond E. Wolfinger, PS: Political Science and Politics 3:532-534.
  • Highton, B. (2015) Voting: Turnout, In International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition. James D. Wright (Ed.) Oxford, UK: Elsevier Science.
  • Highton, B., McGhee, E., & Sides, J. (2014) Constitutional design and the 2014 senate election outcomes, The Forum 12: 653-661.
  • Highton, B., McGhee, E., & Sides, J. (2014) Election fundamentals and polls favor the Republicans in 2014, PS: Political Science and Politics 47:786-788.
  • Buttice, M., & Highton, B. (2013) How does multilevel regression and poststratification perform with conventional national surveys? Political Analysis 21:449-467. [Critical exchange with Ghitza, Lax, and Phillips here.]
  • Highton, B. (2012) Updating political evaluations: Policy attitudes, partisanship, and presidential assessments, Political Behavior 34:57-78.
  • Highton, B. (2012) Sorting the American states into red and blue: Culture, economics, and the 2012 U.S. presidential election in historical context, The Forum 10:11-19..


Professor Highton teaches graduate courses in American Politics, Political Behavior, Quantitative Analysis with Stata, Congress, and Research in American Politics. He teaches undergraduate courses: Introduction to American Politics, Elections and Voting Behavior, Scientific Study of Politics, Political Internships, Legislative Process, Advanced Seminars (various topics), Honors Thesis Writing and Freshman Seminars (various topics)