David Kimball

David C. Kimball

Professor of Political Science, University of Missouri-St. Louis
Chapter Member: Confluence SSN
Areas of Expertise:

About David

Kimball studies elections and interest group lobbying in the United States. His election research examines election administration and the impact of election laws and institutions on voters. His interest group research examines the impact of lobbying on public policy and the political agenda. He has worked with the Brennan Center for Justice on a series of reports promoting better designed ballots and other election materials. He has served as an expert witness in several court cases involving voting rights. He worked with FairVote to produce a report for the Justice Department on the use of cumulative voting in Port Chester, New York. Finally, Kimball helped draw new district boundaries for the St. Louis County Council in 2012.

In the News

David C. Kimball quoted on the intricacies of RCV by Alan Greenblatt, "Voting Problems Open the Door to Election Alternatives" Governing, February 5, 2020.
David C. Kimball's research on identity politics discussed by Jacob Fisher, "Which Ballot Measure Would you Rather Have a Beer with?," Roll Call, January 17, 2019.
David C. Kimball quoted by Summer Ballentine, "Missouri Primary Sets Up McCaskill-Hawley Senate Clash" Associated Press, August 8, 2018.
David C. Kimball quoted by Jim Salter, "4 Years After Ferguson, White Prosecutor Ousted by Black Man" Associated Press, August 8, 2018.
David C. Kimball quoted by Summer Ballentine, "Indicted Missouri Governor Goes into Attack Mode on Top Prosecutor" Chicago Tribune, March 2, 2018.
David C. Kimball quoted by Alan Greenblatt , "Ill-Prepared and Underfunded, Election Officials Brace for More Cyberattacks" Governing, February 14, 2018.
David C. Kimball quoted by Jeremy Kohler, "County Office Complex in St. Ann Costs Taxpayers, but Fills Stenger's Campaign Coffers" St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 5, 2018.
"Who Believes in Voter Fraud? Americans Who are Hostile to Immigrants," David C. Kimball (with Adriano Udani), Monkey Cage, The Washington Post, February 1, 2017.
David C. Kimball quoted on ticket splitting by Jeff Stein, "Ticket Splitting is Dead. National Parties are Now Everything." Vox, November 17, 2016.
David C. Kimball quoted on ranked-choice voting by Henry Grabar, "Maine Just Voted for a Better Way to Vote" Slate, November 9, 2016.
David C. Kimball quoted on anti-Washington sentiment by Jim Salter, "Missouri Senate Race Not Strange This Time, Just Competitive" U.S. News & World Report, October 14, 2016.
David C. Kimball quoted on voter fraud by Celeste Bott, "After Alleged Absentee Voter Fraud in St. Louis, Politicians and Experts Sound Off on Who's to Blame" St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 5, 2016.
David C. Kimball quoted on the Democratic fiscal debate by Chuck Raasch, "Federal Spending in Missouri Equivalent of More than a Fifth of Economy" St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 28, 2016.
David C. Kimball quoted on election 2016 by Jesse Bogan, "Sen. McCaskill Backs Hillary Clinton, Says Sanders Can't Build Consensus" St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 17, 2016.
"Responding to Ferguson: What Works, What Doesn’t," David C. Kimball, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 15, 2015.
"Breaking the Low-Turnout/Inattentive Government Cycle," David C. Kimball, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 15, 2015.
David C. Kimball quoted on the cost of putting campaign-finance initiatives on the ballot by Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies, "On the Trail: Why Missouri's No-Limit Campaign Contribution Culture May be Here to Stay" St. Louis Public Radio, June 7, 2015.
David C. Kimball quoted on unusual activity in Missouri's state legislature by Summer Ballentine, "Months of Work by Missouri Lawmakers End in Chaos" Springfield News-Leader, May 16, 2015.
David C. Kimball quoted on Ferguson's city council elections by Alistair Bell, "Can Ferguson's Black Leaders Gain Power Next April?" Reuters, November 10, 2014.
David C. Kimball quoted on voting access by Samantha Lachman, "Believe It or Not, the Election Had Good News for Voting Rights" Huffington Post, November 5, 2014.
David C. Kimball quoted on political shifts by Alistair Bell, "Why Tensions in Ferguson May Help Republican in a Local Vote" Reuters, November 3, 2014.
David C. Kimball's research on Missouri's constitutional amendments discussed by Jason Rosenbaum, "Why Missourians Keep on Amending State Constitution," St. Louis Public Radio, October 29, 2014.
David C. Kimball quoted on the county executive debate by Jo Mannies, "In Debate, Stenger Takes Aim at Stream's Record" St. Louis Public Radio, October 14, 2014.
David C. Kimball quoted on voting patterns in MO by Monica Davey, "Getting Ferguson Majority to Show Its Clout at Polls" New York Times, August 30, 2014.
"Did Missouri Conservatives Just Peak?," David C. Kimball (with David Brian Robertson), St. Louis Public Radio, May 9, 2014.
"Photo ID is Not Needed for Elections," David C. Kimball, St. Louis Beacon, November 12, 2012.


"Local Politics as a Context for Polarizing Cues" (with Mary Angelica Painter). Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties (2021).

Demonstrates that source cues (such as prominent politicians or interest groups) can move public support for some policies, however, most of the research on source cues in the United States tests the impact of national leaders or parties as cues. Argues that hypotheses about source cues should be tested in other settings, such as local politics.

"Ranked Choice Voting in Maine from the Perspective of Local Election Officials" (with Robert W. Glover, Joseph Anthony, and Amy Fried). Election Law Journal (2021).

Examines the role of local election officials (LEO) as implementers of state election reforms. Derives that data comes from a survey of municipal clerks in Maine conducted after the 2018 general election, as well as interviews with many local officials, garnering their assessments of ranked choice voting (RCV).

"The Long and Short of It: The Unpredictability of Late Deciding Voters" (with Janet Box-Steffensmeier, Micah Dillard, and William Massengill). Electoral Studies 39 (2015).
Examines the long- and short-campaign forces and their effects on the error variance in models of presidential voting decisions.
"Are All Jurisdictions Equal? Size Disparity in Election Administration" (with Brady Baybeck). Election Law Journal 12, no. 2 (2013).
Details how thousands of local governments are responsible for administering elections in the United States. There are substantial differences in the way local jurisdictions administer elections, and most voting problems occur disproportionately in a relatively small number of heavily populated cities and counties.
"Who Cares about the Lobbying Agenda?" (with Frank Baumgartner, Jeff Berry, Marie Hojnack, Beth Leech, and Bryce Summary). Interest Groups & Advocacy 1, no. 1 (2012): 5-25.
Shows how the issues pursued by interest group lobbyists in Washington bear little resemblance to the issues the public cares about most.
"Helping America Vote: The Limits of Election Reform" (with Martha Kropf) (Routledge, 2012).
Gives an assessment of efforts to improve the administration of elections in the United States over the last decade. While the adoption of new voting equipment has reduced voting errors, many other problems remain unaddressed.
"Lobbying and Policy Change: Who Wins, Who Loses, and Why" (with Frank Baumgartner, Jeff Berry, Marie Hojnacki, and Beth Leech) (University of Chicago Press, 2009).
Presents a large-scale study of interest group lobbying in Washington and argues that the advantages of entrenched interests in Washington produce a strong bias in favor of existing policies. As a result, lobbying resources are at best a weak predictor of changes in public policy.