Spotlight: IGS Graduate Student David Broockman

David Broockman and IGS Director Jack Citrin.
David Broockman and IGS Director Jack Citrin.
January 4, 2013

Each year IGS Director Dr. Jack Citrin invites a handful of newly admitted graduate students to join IGS as fellows. It’s a select group, chosen mostly from the Political Science department. David Broockman, a second year graduate student, joined IGS last year and quickly made an impact on the IGS community and was awarded the recently established David M. Howard Memorial prize in November. 

“David is an outstanding student who has already been published in leading journals and has added greatly to IGS intellectual environment,” Citrin said. 

“He was the ideal choice for the Howard prize because he combines creative and rigorous work on public opinion and participation with a deep personal commitment to improving civic engagement,” Citrin said. “David Howard shared those values,” he added. 

Broockman earned his bachelors degree in Political Science from Yale University in May 2011. After polling those closest to him he decided to bypass private sector work and go right back into academia. 

“I had a lot of exposure to research as an undergrad and I was confident it was something I would enjoy,” Broockman said. 

Since arriving at Cal, Broockman’s research has focused on what he calls “representation.” Exploring why elected officials act—or don’t act—on what they perceive as important to their constituents. 

Together with Chris Skovron, a graduate student at University of Michigan, and Nick Carns, a professor at Duke, Broockman’s current research digs deeper into this territory by surveying every candidate who ran for state legislature in the United States’ 2012 election. 

“There are all these great resources for the public but no regular survey effort for people who are running for office,” Broockman said. 

Broockman and the other researchers hope that the data from their systematic survey will fill that void—and with a 22% response rate (about double the response rate of surveys talking to voters) it is certainly a start.