Heerwig's research focuses on using innovative data sources and econometric methods to examine the American campaign finance system and political inequality more broadly. She is particularly interested in how individual donors allocate their monetary contributions in national elections and what these patterns tell us about how donor motivations have changed over time.
Traces the long-term evolution of partisan political contribution strategies.
Examines patterns of representational distortions in financing the 2013 municipal election in Seattle. Finds that campaigns are overwhelmingly funded by wealthy donors in a small subset of Seattle neighborhoods.