Travis’ current research, including his dissertation project, focuses on the policy implications of varying judicial selection and retention mechanisms in the states. Specifically, Travis’ dissertation investigates three outcomes of interest and what role judicial elections play in shaping those outcomes. First, is state-level incarceration. Using state-level data on sentencing and incarceration rates for all 50 states from 1978-2015, Travis investigates how the electoral pressure of judicial elections influences aggregate sentencing and incarceration rates. Second, using similar data on incarceration rates, Travis’ dissertation explores the relationship between judicial elections and racial disparities in incarceration. Finally, using an original dataset of punitive attitudes in the states, Travis analyzes state responsiveness to public opinion and what role judicial elections play in shaping policy responsiveness. To download a copy of Travis’ dissertation prospectus, click here.

Beyond his current research agenda, Travis’ research interests are primarily in American campaigns and elections, especially non-federal campaigns. Within that family of research, he is specifically interested in voter behavior, political communication, the political consultancy, elite (candidate) behavior, elections policy and administration, the effects of campaigns, and campaign strategy.

Click here to find a list of Travis’ current working papers, read the abstracts, and request working copies of the papers.