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Working Papers

Personal Experience with Medical Expenses and Public Opinion on Health CareI use surveys from 2012-2017 and a nationally representative survey experiment to examine how people attribute blame for personal experiences with costly or unexpected medical bills. The findings have implications for understanding the conditions under which personal experiences become political, and whether individuals hold government accountable for a costly health care system. 

The Persistence of Racialized Health Care Attitudes. This study evaluates the emergence and persistence of the racial divide on health reform public opinion using survey data from 2008 through 2017. The study builds on existing work by assessing the dynamics in opinion among both White and Black survey respondents.

When do Partisans Defect versus Come Home? I use a survey experiment to examine how partisans negotiate voting decisions that place their issue positions and partisanship on opposing sides. Unlike previous work, this study experimentally varies the opportunity for partisans to reconcile their beliefs on salient political issues with their partisan loyalties during the decision process. 

Negotiating Multiple Identities in Political DiscussionThis study examines how LGBT Republicans negotiate their partisan and LGBT identities when communicating about political events that make both identities salient. Using tweets following major political events, the study compares communications of LGBT Republicans to those of non-Republican LGBT individuals and non-LGBT Democrats and Republicans.

Category Labels and Attitudes toward Gays and LesbiansThis research note describes a question wording experiment to assess how category labels influence public opinion toward gay and lesbian attitude objects. The findings suggest that while the use of different terminology can significantly shift opinion on gay and lesbian attitude objects, the effects are often much smaller compared to the gaps in LGBT attitudes between people of different social and political backgrounds.

Politicized Perceptions of Sexual Identity Categories.  Claims about partisan differences in LGB attitudes take for granted that people have similar understandings of what being “gay” or “lesbian” means. In this study, I use a conjoint experiment to examine how people map different attributes associated with sexual orientation into discrete sexual identity categories. The findings reveal differences in perceptions of sexual identity categories by partisanship and personal familiarity with sexual minority groups.