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Jared McDonald - University of Mary Washington. Fredericksburg, VA, US

Jared McDonald

Assistant Professor | University of Mary Washington

Fredericksburg, VA, UNITED STATES

Dr. McDonald teaches courses related to American government, political behavior, public policy, and research methodology.




Jared McDonald Publication Jared McDonald Publication




Do Voters Punish Lying Politicians?




Jared McDonald is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science and International Affairs at the University of Mary Washington. He teaches courses related to American government, political behavior, public policy, and research methodology. He earned his Ph.D. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, College Park. Professor McDonald’s research asks how American voters evaluate politicians and hold them accountable in an environment increasingly characterized by high levels of polarization and strong partisan identities. His work has appeared in The Journal of Politics, Public Administration Review, Political Behavior, American Politics Research, Electoral Studies, The International Journal of Public Opinion Research, Gender & Politics, Politics, Groups, & Identities, and The Journal of Experimental Political Science. Excerpts from this work were also featured in The Washington Post, Politico, Vox, and The Hill.

Areas of Expertise (5)

Research Methodology

Political Psychology

American Government

Public Opinion

Voting and Elections

Accomplishments (3)

TomKat Fellowship in Sustainable Energy, Stanford University (professional)


Honorarium, Center for C-SPAN Scholarship and Engagement (professional)


Dean’s Research Initiative, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (professional)


Education (3)

University of Maryland: Ph.D., Government and Politics 2019

University of Maryland: M.A., Government and Politics 2015

The George Washington University: B.A., Political Science & Spanish Language and Literature 2009

Media Appearances (4)

Comment: How to bridge enthusiasm gap for 2024 election

Herald Net  online


Now that Super Tuesday is over and the Democratic and Republican nominees are all but officially chosen, as everyone expected, voters can turn the page to the general election.

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After Super Tuesday, Exhausted Americans Face 8 More Months of Presidential Campaigning

DC Report  online


Now that Super Tuesday is over and the Democratic and Republican nominees are all but officially chosen, as everyone expected, voters can turn the page to the general election.

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Super Tuesday voters turn out to select parties' presidential nominee

Courthouse News Service  online


"There are enough delegates out there that that if things changed dramatically, Nikki Haley could start reeling off wins and amass enough delegates," said Jared McDonald, assistant professor of political science at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. "But we've had polling data for months and months and months that suggests Donald Trump is in an unassailable position."

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Who candidates are influences the emotional appeals they can make in their campaigns

LSE Blogs  online


In many elections, emotions are often just as, or even more important than, facts in voters’ minds. But how do candidates’ characteristics affect the way they use emotional appeals in their campaigns? In new research, Zack Scott and Jared McDonald find that women candidates use more appeals to joy than men, Republicans invoke fear more than Democrats, but not disgust, and that White and Black candidates use emotional appeals in the same ways. They write that these findings show that there is an unequal playing field in US politics, where some candidates can lean into emotions that reflect public sentiment, while others must steer clear.

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Articles (3)

Is government escaping blame? the effect of contracting and victim attributes in a prisoner transportation experiment

Public Management Review

2023 By comparing respondent’s perceptions of blame for the death of a prisoner and a non-prisoner, we explore whether the fundamental principle of equal protection under the law is possible. We examine reactions to a vignette experiment that varies whether a prison transport was conducted by a contractor or directly provided by the government, and whether the victim was another prisoner or a bystander. Drawing on literature regarding blame avoidance, citizens blame government less for contracted service failures. In contrast to social identity theory expectations, respondents place greater blame to the government and guards when the victim is a prisoner.

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New voters, new attitudes: how Gen Z Americans rate candidates with respect to generation, gender, and race

Politics, Groups, and Identities

2023 A vast literature discusses the barriers to minority and women representation in politics. We examine whether the youngest generation of Americans, Generation Z, penalizes women and minority candidates. Gen Z has come of age when matters of race and gender have come to the forefront of American politics. Simultaneously, the slate of candidates being offered has grown younger, more diverse, and increasingly female. We investigate the ways in which young Americans approach these candidates using two survey experiments of Generation Z respondents. We find mixed evidence that Gen Z prefers women candidates to men, but consistently find they view Black candidates more favorably than their white counterparts. Notably, Gen Z shows little to no preference for younger candidates.

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Uninspired by Old White Guys: The Mobilizing Factor of Younger, More Diverse Candidates for Gen Z Women

Politics & Gender

2023 American political activism has surged recently among young citizens, particularly among women and people of color. At the same time, record numbers of women and minority candidates have been running for office. Does seeing more diverse candidates in terms of age, gender, and race propel more interest in political engagement among Generation Z, particularly women? Using a survey experiment embedded in a nationally representative survey of Generation Z citizens, we present respondents with Democratic politicians who vary based on these three criteria. Women who identify strongly with their gender express greater political engagement when presented with any candidate who does not fit the stereotypical image of a politician (older, white, male).

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