Strengthening Democracy Challenge
Professor of Political Science
Professor Hutchings' general interests include public opinion, elections, voting behavior, and African American politics. He recently published a book at Princeton University Press entitled Public Opinion and Democratic Accountability: How Citizens Learn About Politics, that focuses on how, and under what circumstances, citizens monitor (and consequently influence) their elected representative's voting behavior. In addition to this project, Professor Hutchings also studies how the size of the African American constituency in congressional districts can influence legislative responsiveness to Black interests. The most recent product of this research was published in the Journal of Politics. Finally, he is also interested in the ways that campaign communications can "prime" various group identities and subsequently affect candidate evaluations. This study examines how campaign communications can subtly---and not so subtly---prime voter's racial (and other group-based) attitudes and subsequently affect their political decisions. Research from this project, co-authored with Professor Nicholas Valentino and Ismail White, has been published in the American Political Science Review. Professor Hutchings, and collaborators Ashley Jardina, Rob Mickey, and Hanes Walton, are currently exploring how different news frames can diminish or exacerbate tensions among Whites, Blacks and Latinos
Professor Hutchings was a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Scholar (2000-2002) and has received multiple grants from the National Science Foundation, most recently (2009) for his project entitled “Elite Communications and Racial Group Conflict in the 21st Century.” He is currently the University of Michigan Principal Investigator for the American National Election Study for the 2012 election cycle.