Articles by Gabriel Lenz

In deciding between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, we hope that voters are choosing between candidates based in part on candidates’ policy stances, such as their positions on taxes and war. In a book I have coming out this month, Follow the Leader (press release), I find surprisingly little evidence ...
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After several years of negative or inconsistent growth, incomes grew at a robust annualized rate of 4.6% and 4.1% in the first two quarters of this year. As I summarized in an earlier Model Politics post, voters appear unduly influenced by election-year income growth. So, these numbers are great news ...
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The intense focus of journalists and pundits on the disappointing monthly job report — only 69,000 jobs were created — points to one of the great mysteries of presidential voting: why voters care so much about the election-year economy. According to numerous studies, voters mostly ignore economic booms or busts ...
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According to several recent studies, good-looking candidates win more often and with higher margins (1,2,3). Like his father, Mitt Romney just looks like a president. How much is that helping him? Answering that question is hard. To investigate it, I ran a simple experiment on a representative national sample. I ...
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Gabriel Lenz is an assistant professor of political science at the University of California, Berkeley. He has a forthcoming book with the University of Chicago Press and his articles appear in the American Journal of Political SciencePolitical Behavior, and Political Psychology. Professor Lenz studies democratic politics, focusing on what leads citizens to make good political decisions, what leads them to make poor decisions, and how to improve their choices. His work draws on insights from social psychology and economics, and his research and teaching interests are in the areas of elections, public opinion, political psychology, and political economy. Although specializing in American democracy, he also conducts research on Canada, UK, Mexico, Netherlands, and Brazil. He has ongoing projects about improving voters' assessments of the performance of politicians, reducing the role of candidate appearance in elections, and measuring political corruption.