Political Science PhD student of political psychology/behavior, with research interests revolving around questions of individual opinion formation and change, group identity, partisanship, and prejudice.


Ezekiel Wright, superhero

While Marvel's superhero creates illusions through the use of conventional magic tricks...

Ezekiel Wright, political scientist

...I attempt to cut through illusory understandings of politics with statistical analysis.

First, if you're looking for the Marvel superhero, you've come to the wrong place. That Ezekiel is a vigilante who uses magic — I'm a doctoral student at the University of Minnesota. I received a master's in Political Science at the University of Rhode Island, and, prior to that, a bachelor's at Ithaca College. Between Ithaca and graduate school, I spent five years as a journalist and freelance writer.

My academic interests generally concern "why do we believe what we believe, and why do we (not) change those beliefs?"

Political attitudes are a difficult matter to study, with many indications that homo politicus functions as an irrational ad hoc being, individually or in groups, motivated by emotion, tribalism, and bias. Few people believe their own political views to be incoherent, yet many political scientists maintain that most are. So my interest in political beliefs is rooted in the need to explain my own viewpoints, the views of people I disagree with, and those who might believe in the patently false but nonetheless can't be dissuaded.

I have two black cats and a puppo named June. She appears to be a "Carolina dog", which is a type of semi-feral native dog originating from the Southeast US -- although June hails from a South Dakota reservation.

Julianne and June

Julianne and June


"Belief systems have never surrendered easily to empirical study or quantification. Indeed, they have often served as primary exhibits for the doctrine that what is important to study cannot be measured and that what can be measured is not important to study." (Converse 1964)

My current research-in-progress concerns the "alt-right" and how it forms a relevant social identity for some anti-establishment conservatives. Using survey and experimental results, I evaluate the attitudes, behaviors, and characteristics of those who identify as "alt-right". Another recent project looks at how House Republicans' levels of support or opposition to Trump in 2016 influenced their district races/their districts' support for their party's presidential nominee.

A few other past projects have looked at affective polarization, the strength and malleability of partisanship, and the effect of legislative term limits on state immigration policy.

Predictive Margins
Contracting Out