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David E. Broockman

Associate Professor of Political Science, University of California-Berkeley
Chapter Member: Bay Area SSN

About David

Broockman's research considers how voters and politicians decide, generally using field experiments and other approaches that allow for rigorous causal inferences to be drawn. Broockman’s published academic work spans the topics of public opinion, voter behavior, and research methodology. During his career in the private sector, Brookman designed and implemented field experiments at the AFL-CIO, the Analyst Institute, Google, and CREDO Action.


In the News

Quoted by Dylan Matthews in "The Pandemic Is Forcing Democrats to Ask: How Important Is Door-Knocking, Anyway?," Vox, September 3, 2020.
Opinion: "Persuading Voters is Hard. That Doesn’t Mean Campaigns Should Give Up.," David E. Broockman (with Joshua L. Kalla), The Washington Post, October 11, 2017.
Research discussed by Emma Green, in "Most Campaign Outreach Has Zero Effect on Voters," The Atlantic, September 30, 2017.
Research discussed by Dylan Matthews, in "A Massive New Study Reviews the Evidence on Whether Campaigning Works. The Answer's Bleak.," Vox, September 28, 2017.
Research discussed by Dana Nuccitelli, in "On Climate Change and Elsewhere, Politicians More Conservative than Citizens," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, July 24, 2017.
Opinion: "G.O.P. Senators Might Not Realize It, but Not One State Supports the A.H.C.A.," David E. Broockman (with Christopher Warshaw), New York Times, June 14, 2017.
Guest on KCUR, June 14, 2017.
Quoted by Dylan Matthews in "Donald Trump Has Every Reason to Keep White People Thinking about Race," Vox, November 30, 2016.
Research discussed by Harini Shyamsundar, in "Study Shows Door-to-Door Canvassing Can Help Reduce Prejudice against Transgender People," The Daily Californian, April 11, 2016.
Quoted by Brian Resnick in "These Scientists Can Prove It's Possible to Reduce Prejudice," Vox, April 8, 2016.
Research discussed by John Bohannon, in "Talking to People about Gay and Transgender Issues Can Change Their Prejudices," Science Magazine, April 7, 2016.
Quoted by Benoit Denizet-Lewis in "How Do You Change Voters’ Minds? Have a Conversation," New York Times Magazine, April 7, 2016.
Research discussed by Steve Kolowich, in "The Researchers Who Sank a Bogus Canvassing Study Have Replicated Some of Its Findings," The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 7, 2016.
Opinion: "How Well-Meaning Political Reformers are Helping to Elect President Trump," David E. Broockman, The Washington Post, March 7, 2016.
Research discussed by Dylan Matthews, in "This Was the Biggest Political Science Study of Last Year. It Was a Complete Fraud.," Vox, May 20, 2015.
Research discussed by Sam Pizzigati, in "The Peasants Still Have Their Pitchforks," Truth Out, November 15, 2014.
Research discussed by Christopher Ingraham, in "Study: Politicians Can Change Hearts and Minds Simply by Stating Their Views," The Washington Post, September 10, 2014.
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 Sal Gentile, in "Study: Politicians Think Voters are Way More Conservative than They Actually Are," MSNBA, March 9, 2013.
Research discussed by Gregory Ferenstein, in "Study: On Facebook, Money Alone Can’t Buy Political Popularity," TechCrunch, October 18, 2012.
Research discussed by David Brooks, in "Race and Response," New York Times, May 10, 2011.
Research discussed by Christopher Shea, in "Discriminating against 'DeShawn'," Wall Street Journal, May 5, 2011.
Research discussed by Ezra Klein, in "Today in Depressing Political Science," The Washington Post, May 3, 2011.


"Campaign Contributions Facilitate Access to Congressional Officials: A Randomized Field Experiment" (with Joshua L. Kalla). American Journal of Political Science 60, no. 3 (2016): 545-558.

Argues that members of Congress grant preferential access to purported political donors over concerned constituents. Is the first experimental demonstration of the biasing role of money in politics.

"Black Politicians are More Intrinsically Motivated to Advance Blacks’ Interests" American Journal of Political Science 57, no. 3 (2013): 521-536.

Employs a unique experimental design to demonstrate that black politicians are more intrinsically motivated to represent blacks’ interests than are whites. When the incentives of politicians to respond to a putative request from a black individual are experimentally reduced, black politicians generally continue to provide representation though white politicians generally do not.

"What Politicians Believe about Their Constituents: Asymmetric Misperceptions and Prospects for Constituency Control," (with Christopher Skovron), University of California, Berkeley, 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.