Michael G. Miller
Department of Political Science
Barnard College, Columbia University
Information Page for Media
Selected Recent Publications:
Miller, Michael G. 2014. Subsidizing Democracy: How Public Funding Changes Elections, and How it Can Work in the Future. Cornell University Press.
Dowling, Conor, and Michael G. Miller. 2014. Super PAC! Money, Elections, and Voters after Citizens United. Routledge.
Doherty, David, Conor Dowling, and Michael G. Miller. 2011. "Are Financial or Moral Scandals Worse? It Depends." PS: Political Science and Politics 44(4): 749-757.
I am an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Barnard College. I teach courses in American politics and research methods. My broad research interests lie in American elections and political behavior, with a particular focus on the effects of policy changes in campaign finance and election administration, how voters process political information, women as candidates, and the manner in which people evaluate politicians involved in political scandals. I am the author or coauthor of two books and a number of articles. Some of my recent articles appear (or are forthcoming) in Legislative Studies Quarterly, Political Behavior, State Politics and Policy Quarterly, The Journal of Experimental Political Science, Politics and Gender, Research and Politics, and Election Law Journal.
I hold a Ph.D. in Government from Cornell University (2010), an M.A. in Political Science from Minnesota State University, Mankato (2005), and a B.A. in Political Science and Business from Concordia College, Moorhead, MN (2001). Prior to going the academic route, I was a political strategist working on campaigns for the U.S. House and Senate. I served as high-level staff with a focus on communications and general strategy. On various federal campaigns, I held titles of Campaign Manager, Area Manager, Finance Director, and Policy Adviser.
Much of my academic work to date examines the impact of public election funding programs in the American states, with particular emphasis on the "Clean Elections" programs in Arizona, Connecticut, and Maine. My first book, entitled Subsidizing Democracy: How Public Funding Changes Elections, and How it Can Work in the Future (2014, Cornell University Press), provides an in-depth look at public funding, describing how subsidies have changed the elections in which they are utilized, how the Supreme Court has interpreted public funding regulations, and how those policies can work in the future. Along with my other research on public funding, that book has been discussed in a range of news media, including MSNBC, CSPAN-2, The Washington Post, Vox.com, and Pacific Standard, and has been cited as empirical evidence before both the United States Supreme Court and the United States Senate.
A second book, Super PAC! Money, Elections, and Voters after Citizens United (coauthored with Conor Dowling), and published by Routledge, was released in early 2014. That book examines the 2010 federal court decisions that effectively created a new campaign finance environment in federal elections. It also details the flow of money in federal politics in that year and beyond, and employs a number of public opinion surveys and embedded survey experiments to gauge not only how much people know about existing campaign finance law, but also whether they notice the activity of super PACs and related groups and/or are able to distinguish between their activities and those of candidates.
My spare time is largely devoted to road running, playing as much Americana and folk music (vocals, guitar, banjo, harmonica, keys, and percussion) as possible, and dealing with the constant heartbreak supplied by my beloved Minnesota Vikings.