Benjamin Highton

Benjamin Highton Portrait

Position Title
Professor and Chair

564 Kerr Hall
1 Shields Avenue, Davis CA 95616


  • Ph.D., Political Science, University of California, Berkeley, 1998
  • A.B., Political Science, Brown University, 1990 (magna cum laude)


After receiving his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley, Ben Highton worked for a year in Washington, DC, for a U.S. Senator as part of the American Political Science Association's Congressional Fellowship Program. While there, he specialized in education policy. He joined the UC Davis political science department in 1999 and teaches and conducts research in the areas of public opinion, elections, and research methods.

Research Focus

His research and teaching interests include American national politics, political behavior, elections, public opinion, and research methods.


  • Highton, B. 2017. “Voter Identification Laws and Turnout in the United States.” Annual Review of Political Science 20:149-167.
  • Buttice, M., and B. Highton. 2013. “How Does Multilevel Regression and Poststratification Perform with Conventional National Surveys?” Political Analysis 21:449-467.
  • Highton, B., and C. Kam. 2011. “The Long-Term Dynamics of Partisanship and Issue Orientations.” Journal of Politics 73:202-215.
  • Highton, B. 2011. “Prejudice Rivals Partisanship and Ideology when Explaining the 2008 Presidential Vote across the States.” PS: Political Science and Politics 44:530-535.
  • Highton, B. 2004. “Voter Registration and Turnout in the United States.” Perspectives on Politics 2:507-515.
  • Highton, B. 2004. “White Voters and African American Candidates for Congress.” Political Behavior 26:1-25.
  • Highton, B. and R. Wolfinger. 1998. “Estimating the Effects of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.” Political Behavior 20:79-104.


Professor Highton teaches graduate courses in American Politics, Political Behavior, Quantitative Analysis with Stata, Congress, and Research in American Politics. He teaches undergraduate courses: Introduction to American Politics, Elections and Voting Behavior, Scientific Study of Politics, Political Internships, Legislative Process, Advanced Seminars (various topics), Honors Thesis Writing and Freshman Seminars (various topics)