In a time of heightened polarization, partisanship, and disinformation, what drives American voters is a question top of mind for many, including Stanford scholars who have studied recent U.S. elections and what has inspired and influenced people at the polls.
What researchers have learned about voters is varied and nuanced, with a number of factors, from geographic to generational distinctions, influencing voter behavior and beliefs. Others have explored how messaging and framing matters as well, and how even demonstrating empathy can make a difference in building political consensus.
Meanwhile, some have also looked at ways to disrupt some of the troubling trends that are affecting current politics and elections, particularly the rise in anti-democratic attitudes and partisan animosity.
Ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, here is some of that research – and more – to revisit.
If you are a journalist looking to speak with a Stanford scholar on voting and election, browse our list of subject matter experts willing to speak to media here.