Curry

James M. Curry

Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Utah
Areas of Expertise:
  • Government Agencies
  • Voting

Connect with James

About James

Curry studies the influence of parties and leaders within the U.S. Congress, and the way information and expertise shape congressional policymaking. Particularly, he investigates how leaders on Capitol Hill, including party leaders and committee chairs, draw on their knowledge and expertise to influence the legislative process, the level of partisan conflict, and the policies ultimately passed into law. In addition, he has conducted research on the way the rules of American legislative elections affect the way those elected act in office. Curry has previously worked as a fellow in the U.S. Congress.

Publications

"The Impact of District Magnitude on Campaign Fundraising" (with Paul S. Herrnson and Jeffrey A. Taylor). 38, no. 4 (2013): 517-543.
Argues how the use of multi-member districts to elect state legislators affects how candidates raise campaign funds. In particular, argues that candidates in these districts have a more difficult time raising the funds they need, and as a result are more beholden to particular groups and segments of the population to accrue campaign cash.
"The Impact of District Magnitude on Ballot Drop-off and Roll-off" (with Paul S. Herrnson and Jeffrey A. Taylor). Legislative Studies Quarterly (2015).

Argues how the use of multi-member districts to elect state legislators reduces voter participation in several states by creating confusion and fatigue among voters and reducing the likelihood that they complete their ballots.

Legislating in the Dark: Information and Power in the House of Representatives (University of Chicago Press, 2015).
Demonstrates how the power and influence of party leaders and committee chairs stems from the superior information, knowledge, and expertise they possess compared to rank-and-file lawmakers. Leaders use these advantages to shape the policymaking process and the way their fellow lawmakers view bills and policy proposals, which in turn reinforces partisanship in the chamber and influences the policies made into law.

In the News

James M. Curry quoted , "All Eyes on Sen. Hatch as he Weighs Reelection Bid" The Hill, December 28, 2017.
James M. Curry quoted in Rebecca Worby, "Can Utah's Centrists Provide Refuge for teh Disillusioned?" High Country News, October 25, 2017.
"Congress is Far More Bipartisan than Headlines Suggest," James M. Curry, The Washington Post, December 20, 2016.
James M. Curry's research on Sarah BinderJames M. Curry, "Yes, Mitch McConnell's Lawmaking is Really Unusual in These 4 Ways," The Washington Post, June 19, 2017.
"The Search for the New FBI Director," James M. Curry, Interview with Brian Carlson, Good4Utah, May 16, 2017.
"What to Expect from James Comey's Testimony," James M. Curry, Interview with Marquee Mclain, Good4Utah, June 8, 2017.
James M. Curry's research on Lee DrutmanJames M. Curry, Vox, March 3, 2017.
"Why Would Pelosi Step Down? Parties Don’t Usually Throw Out Congressional Leaders after Electoral Losses.," James M. Curry (with David Karol), The Washington Post, June 30, 2017.
James M. Curry quoted on the division in the Republican party in Daphne Chen, "Utah House Delegation Frustrated by No Vote on Health Care, Signals Reluctance to Try Again" KSL News, March 24, 2017.
James M. Curry quoted on blocking Supreme Court nominees in Matt Gephardt, "What if Congress Blocks a President's Appointments Forever?" KUTV, December 17, 2016.
James M. Curry quoted on the ACA in Daphne Chen, "The Obamacare Fight is On; Here are 3 Pitfalls Republicans Will Have to Navigate" Deseret News, January 4, 2017.
Guest to discuss legal limitations to immigration reform on Fox News, James M. Curry, November 11, 2016.
Guest to discuss polling on ABC Utah, James M. Curry, November 9, 2016.
James M. Curry quoted on the long-view of the election in Daphne Chen, "Do You Have Election Anxiety? Here's What the Experts Say You Should Do" Deseret News Utah, October 18, 2016.
James M. Curry quoted on the electoral college in Matt Gephardt, "Good Question: What Happens If Nobody Gets Enough Votes to Be President?" KUTV, October 15, 2016.
Guest to discuss the 2016 presidential election on ABC Utah, James M. Curry, September 27, 2016.
James M. Curry quoted on Utah's House race in Lisa Hagen, "Dems Target Mia Love in Must-Win Utah House Race" The Hill, June 21, 2016.
Guest to discuss the House on New Books in Political Science, James M. Curry, October 13, 2015.