Ryan Baxter-King

Welcome! I am a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles.

I study how real-world events interact with voters’ partisan attachments to shape elections and public opinion in the United States. My research investigates when voters’ attitudes and political behavior are influenced by changing societal conditions, especially changes in their local environment. In particular, my research focuses on those voters who live closest to focusing events, are exposed to salient policy changes, and or whose local communities experience worsening policy outcomes.

My dissertation primarily focuses on an extended case study of mass shootings, investigating whether these salient events affect voters’ political attitudes and behavior. This research applies rigorous causal inference techniques to large-scale survey data and administrative databases while using survey experimens to test specific mechanisms and scope conditions. This dissertation work is supported by a $15,000 Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship from the Rapoport Family Foundation.

More broadly, I am generally interested in electoral accountability, political participation, and representation – especially when these questions intersect with public health. I have experience collaborating across disciplinary boundaries, including with researchers and practitioners in medicine, psychology, and public health. Currently, I am part of the UCLA Covid-19 Health and Politics Project, an interdisciplinary collaboration between social scientists and medical doctors at UCLA and Harvard. I am also a member of the Practical Causal Inference Lab.

Before starting graduate school at UCLA, I worked in public health and healthcare. At the AIDS Institute, New York State Department of Health, I worked in Office of the Medical Director on quality of care initiatives. I also worked as a data analyst at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in the Department of Strategy and Innovation.

My CV is available here.

selected publications

  1. Sci. Adv.
    Fatalities from COVID-19 are reducing Americans’ support for Republicans at every level of federal office
    Warshaw, Christopher, Vavreck, Lynn, and Baxter-King, Ryan
    Science Advances 2020
  2. PNAS
    How local partisan context conditions prosocial behaviors: Mask wearing during COVID-19
    Baxter-King, Ryan, Brown, Jacob R., Enos, Ryan D., Naeim, Arash, and Vavreck, Lynn
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2022