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, political parties, text analysis, machine learning, and campaign finance. I address questions that can be tackled by combining cutting-edge methods with sound theoretical perspectives, such as the predictability of legislative behavior, the limits of party power, how and when parties seek to influence their members, and the role of the minority party in Congress.
Beyond this, I have worked on a variety of topics, such as online advertising in Presidential campaigns, the role of academic economists in shaping public opinion on economic policy issues, member responses to primary challenges in Congressional elections, and more.