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Department of Political Science

College of Social Sciences and Public Policy

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Matthew Uttermark

Office: Bellamy 227
Email Address:


CV:Matthew Uttermark CV

Degree Program:


Areas of Interest:

American Politics, Public Policy, State Politics, Federalism, Direct Democracy, Research Methods

Research Activites:

My research works to identify how institutions interact with information to shape decision making in politics and public policy. I am also interested in the origins and maintenance of institutions, testing their importance using new theories, research design and data. My dissertation consists of three essays which examine how different types of information—partisan, policy and media cues—influence vote choice in ballot measure elections. Previous research on direct democracy finds that the institution maintains broad support from citizens. Given this support, it is important to know what information matters to voters when determining how to vote in a ballot measure election. However, present scholarship remains nascent—relying on theory developed from studies on candidate-centric elections. This is a critical question because citizens are heavily reliant on these types of informational cues as ballot measure elections lack the traditional valence and partisan information found in candidate elections. My dissertation works to resolve this problem by better understanding how ballot measure elections contour citizens’ vote choice. The center piece is a panel experiment as well as new data on media coverage on ballot measure elections.

Selected Publications:

  • "Extra, Extra, (Don't) Roll-Off About It! Newspaper Endorsements for Ballot Measures." With Kevin Fahey and Carol S. Weissert. State Politics & Policy Quarterly, 2018. Vol. 18 (1) 93-113.
  • "Glass Half Full: Decentralization and Health Policy." With Carol S. Weissert. State and Local Government Review, 2017. Vol. 49 (3) 199-214.