Sanbonmatsu studies gender and American politics. Her research focuses on women’s election to office, gender stereotypes, party politics, and race/ethnicity. Sanbonmatsu has studied the effects of the parties’ candidate recruitment practices on women’s officeholding. She has examined public attitudes towards women’s officeholding and voter stereotypes about women candidates. Her current work focuses on officeholding by women of color. Sanbonmatsu is a Senior Scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers’ Eagleton Institute of Politics, where she helps to conduct and disseminate research about women and politics.