Hello! I’m Andy Ballard. I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Government in the School of Public Affairs at American University, where I am affiliated with the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies and the Data Science Center. I received my Ph.D. from the Department of Political Science at Duke University, where I was also a part of the Political Institutions and Public Choice Program.
My research focuses on American politics and I am particularly interested in legislative politics, text analysis, machine learning, representation, and campaign finance. In my dissertation I investigated how members of Congress choose what to say and how to vote based on the texts of public statements and bills.
Beyond this, I have worked on a variety of topics, such as how parties respond to disloyalty in their members' speeches versus their votes, online advertising in Presidential campaigns, the role of academic economists in shaping public opinion on economic policy issues, how intraparty campaign finance functions as a mechanism for party control, member responses to primary challenges in Congressional elections, and more.