Douglas J. Ahler (M.A. '11) was born and raised in San Diego County and attended Occidental College and UCLA before enrolling at UC Berkeley as a doctoral candidate in Political Science. Doug taught social studies at a Los Angeles public high school before becoming a graduate student at Berkeley. His dissertation topic is entitled: "The Electoral Perception: How Americans Understand the Representative Relationship and What It Means for Legislative Politics." His dissertation research analyzes how public perceptions of the political ideology of candidates for elective office, in tandem with perceptions of the attitudes of other citizens, affect voter choice when comparing candidates on a ballot. His recent research testing the impact of California's open primary system is very innovative in measuring voter responses to seeking more moderate candidates and the forces of polarization in state politics. Doug expects to complete his doctoral education in 2016.