Christopher Skovron

Postdoctoral Research Scholar, Northwestern University

About Christopher

Skovron studies American politics with a focus on representation. His research considers how politicians perceive public opinion in their constituencies and how they connect with their constituents. He investigates the roles of elite perceptions in candidate recruitment and the decisions political parties make. 

Skovron also studies how the public’s perceptions of their fellow citizens’ opinions influence political behavior and policy outcomes. He has methodological interests in the use of surveys and voter files to understand public opinion and political behavior. As a graduate student at Michigan, he served in a number of leadership roles with the American Federation of Teachers. 


Politicians Think American Voters are More Conservative than They Really Are

  • David E. Broockman

In the News

Quoted by Sean McElwee in "Democrats Should Run on Gun Control All over the Country," Vice, February 16, 2018.
Research discussed by Dana Nuccitelli, in "On Climate Change and Elsewhere, Politicians More Conservative than Citizens," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, July 24, 2017.
Research discussed by Oliver Burkeman, in "America: A Land of Liberals Governed by Conservatives?," The Guardian, October 2, 2013.
Research discussed by Michael Tomasky, in "How Legislators View Their Constituents," Daily Beast, September 24, 2013.
Research discussed by Jeffrey Riley, in "The Jefferson Exchange," Jefferson Public Radio, June 12, 2013.
Interviewed in "Research: Politicians Have Little Idea What Voters are Thinking," Bridge Michigan, May 2, 2013.
Research discussed by Sal Gentile, in "Study: Politicians Think Voters are Way More Conservative than They Actually Are," MSNBC’s UP with Chris Hayes, March 9, 2013.


"What Politicians Believe about Their Constituents: Asymmetric Misperceptions and Prospects for Constituency Control," (with David Broockman), University of Michigan, February 28, 2013.

Shows that politicians are typically ignorant of constituency opinion and salient issues in their districts and, moreover, typically overestimate the conservatism of their constituents. Conservative politicians’ errors are particularly egregious, overestimating their constituents’ conservatism by around 20 percentage points on average.