Pacheco's research explores political behavior, public opinion, state and local politics, and health policy. Her subfields include youth voter turnout, dynamic state public opinion, policy diffusion, state agenda setting, dynamic policy responsiveness, and anti-smoking legislation. Pacheco is currently working on a project (with Graeme Boushey at UC Irvine) explaining state attention to two public health issues: anti-smoking legislation and vaccine regulation.
Reports generally higher intelligence test scores among more recent cohorts.
Considers how policy externalities contribute to free-rider dynamics or competitive races across the American states. Stresses the importance of scholars exploring the conditional nature of policy diffusion dynamics by focusing on variations in policy content and stages of the policymaking process other than policy enactment.
Shows that religious adherence and maternal gender role values are significant predictors of adult abortion opinions, even after controlling for contemporaneous religious adherence and the respondents’ own views on gender roles
Finds evidence that states are more likely to emulate other states with similar Affordable Care Act policy preferences when deciding about when to announce their decisions.