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Kevin Wagner, Ph.D. - Florida Atlantic University. Boca Raton, FL, US

Kevin Wagner, Ph.D.

Professor and Department Chair | Florida Atlantic University


Kevin Wagner's research and teaching interests include judicial politics, political behavior and legislative behavior




Kevin Wagner, Ph.D. Publication Kevin Wagner, Ph.D. Publication




Expert: Florida Loss Would Hurt Rubio




Kevin Wagner received his J.D. from the University of Florida and worked as an attorney and member of the Florida Bar with the law firm of Scott, Harris, Bryan, Barra, and Jorgensen in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. He returned to the University of Florida five years later to earn an M.A. and Ph.D in political science.

Wagner has lectured extensively on American Politics and has been cited in many leading newspapers including the New York Times, Boston Globe, New York Newsday, the Dallas Morning News, and the Miami Herald. He has been featured as the political analyst for CBS 12 in West Palm Beach and on national television including NBC’s “The Today Show.”

His work has been published in leading journals and law reviews including American Review of Politics, Journal of Legislative Studies, and Politics and Policy.

Wagner has presented at national conferences including the American Political Science Association, the Southern Political Science Association and the Midwest Political Science Association. His recent work focuses on the affects of technology on politics and campaigning and is currently completing a book with Roman and Littlefield Press entitled "Click and Reboot: How the Internet is Revolutionizing American Politics." His other research focuses in the areas of American Institutions, American Political Development, Judicial Politics, Political Behavior, and Research Methods.

Areas of Expertise (7)

Florida Politics

Politics in Film and Fiction

Research Methods

Public Opinion and American Politics

Political Party and Interest Groups

Media in Politics

Judicial Politics

Accomplishments (3)

Lifelong Learning Society Distinguished Professor in Current Affairs

2017 / 2018

Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters: Scholar of the Year Nominee


Lifelong Learning Society Distinguished Professor in Current Affairs

2013 / 2014

Education (4)

University of Florida: Ph.D., American Politics, Political Behavior, and Methodology 2005

University of Florida: M.A., American Politics, Political Behavior, and Methodology 2002

University of Florida, Frederic G. Levin College of Law: J.D., Law 1996

Florida State University: B.A., International Relations 1993

Affiliations (6)

  • American Political Science Association
  • Midwest Political Science Association
  • Southern Political Science Association
  • Florida Political Science Association
  • American Bar Association
  • The Florida Bar

Selected Media Appearances (3)

Trump Ally Ron DeSantis Wins Florida Governor's Race



“DeSantis winning illustrates that the president’s power to motivate Republican voters is still very strong," said Kevin Wagner, professor of political science at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton...

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Florida voters more concerned about health care, economy and immigration than guns

South Florida Sun Sentinel  


“The fact that we’re talking about immigration is consistent with the [news] coverage of the immigration issue and how much the president has been focused on it,” said Kevin Wagner, a political scientist at Florida Atlantic University and a research fellow at FAU’s Business and Economics Polling Initiative...

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Despite all those Rick Scott TV ads going after Bill Nelson, poll finds Florida voters unmoved

South Florida Sun Sentinel  


evin Wagner, an FAU political scientist and research fellow at the university’s Business and Economics Polling Initiative, said that’s too minor a change to draw any conclusion about the direction of the race. It could be a statistical blip...

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Selected Articles (3)

Is the equalization/normalization lens dead? Social media campaigning in US congressional elections

Online Information Review

J Gainous, A Segal, K Wagner

2018 Early information technology scholarship centered on the internet’s potential to be a democratizing force was often framed using an equalization/normalization lens arguing that either the internet was going to be an equalizing force bringing power to the masses, or it was going to be normalized into the existing power structure. The purpose of this paper is to argue that considered over time the equalization/normalization lens still sheds light on our understanding of how social media (SM) strategy can shape electoral success asking if SM are an equalizing force balancing the resource gap between candidates or are being normalized into the modern campaign.

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Critical social media information flows: political trust and protest behaviour among Kazakhstani college students

Central Asian Survey

A Bekmagambetov, KM Wagner, J Gainous, Z Sabitov, A Rodionov, et al.

2018 In political regimes where traditional mass media are under state control, social networking sites may be the only place where citizens are exposed to and exchange dissident information. Despite all the attempts, complete control of social media seems to be implausible. We argue that the critical information that people see, read and share online undermines their trust in political institutions. This diminishing trust may threaten the legitimacy of the ruling regime and stimulate protest behaviour. We rely on original survey data of Kazakhstani college students to confirm these expectations. The data are unique in that they directly measure exposure to critical/dissident information, as opposed to simply assuming it. The analysis leverages Coarsened Exact Matching to simulate experimental conditions. This allows us to better identify the consequential mechanism and the attitudinal precursor by which social media influence protest in an authoritarian context.

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Digital media and political opposition in authoritarian systems: Russia’s 2011 and 2016 Duma elections


J Gainous, KM Wagner, CE Ziegler

2018 The ability of authoritarian regimes to maintain power hinges, in part, on how well they are able to manipulate the flow of information to the masses. While authoritarian states have had success controlling traditional media, the growth of social media over the last decade has created new challenges for such regimes. The Russian experience offers an example of how an authoritarian regime responds to this potential threat. Because of the massive demonstrations surrounding the 2011–2012 Duma elections, the ruling Russian government suspected that social media provided a significant impetus for the demonstrations. Social media, through its dissemination of opposition blogs, could have helped drive negative attitudes about the governing party. As such, the government responded by employing strategies to tighten their grip on the digital flow of information. We use survey data to demonstrate that exposure to blogs via social media at the time of the demonstrations led many to believe that the elections were fraudulent. Ultimately, we contend that Russian fears concerning the importance of social media for the fomenting of opposition movements is well grounded. Social media can drive support for opposition in an autocratic state.

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