Jesse T. Clark, PhD


I am currently a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton University as part of the Princeton Electoral Innovation Lab and the Effron Center for the Study of America, where I started in May of 2021. Prior to starting my postdoc, I earned my PhD in the Department of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where I was a student affiliate of both the MIT Election Data and Science Lab (MEDSL) (along with the Stanford-MIT Project on a Health Election) and the MIT Political Experiments and Research Lab (PERL). I study American politics, with interests in electoral reform and election administration, public opinion, political geography, and race and ethnic politics.

My work examines the intersection of electoral institutions and political behavior in American politics. My research seeks to explain the gap between expectations of electoral reform in elite and public opinions, and the actual consequences of electoral reform. In doing so, I study both behavior at the elite and popular levels as well as the impact of institutional design in the electoral arena.

My work leverages the strengths of several methodological approaches and data sources to examine these questions rigorously and holistically. I employ field and survey experiments, as well as causal inference designs on observational data (IV, difference-in-differences, RDD, matching), advanced geographic methods in ArcGIS and R (point-distance analysis, route analysis, geographic simulations) .


Before MIT, I received a B.A. in political science from The University of Maine. Outside of the academy, my personal interests include hiking, canoeing, classic movies, and marathon running.