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Kristine Kay, Ph.D. Candidate

University of California, Berkeley

Country: United States (California)

About Me:

I am a PhD candidate in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley affiliated with the Institute of Governmental Studies. I received my Master's in Political Science from The Ohio State University and my Bachelor's in International Relations from Lake Forest College. ​I study American politics with a focus on public opinion, political psychology and group politics. My dissertation investigates the consequences of manipulating identification with racial, national, and partisan groups for intergroup emotions, policy preferences, activism, and political conflict and cooperation. My work has appeared in Politics, Groups and Identities and The Journal of Politics.

Research Interests

Experimental Research

Immigration & Citizenship

Political Participation

Political Psychology

Public Opinion

Race, Ethnicity and Politics

Elections, Election Administration, and Voting Behavior


Journal Articles:

(2017) Black Candidates and Black Turnout: A Study of Viability in Louisiana Mayoral Elections, The Journal of Politics

What effect does a candidate’s race have on coracial voter turnout? Recent studies have found mixed results, largely because it is difficult to separate the effect of candidate race from other factors that drive voter turnout. We argue that viability is a key element in the theory of turnout among coracial voters that has been overlooked in the extant literature. We develop a broad-based concept of candidate viability that is dependent on both the candidate and the electoral environment. To test this hypothesis, we make use of the unique runoff structure of mayoral elections in the state of Louisiana between 1988 and 2011. We argue that runoff elections heighten viability in ways rarely seen in most elections. We find that while there is an effect of candidate race on black turnout in general elections, the effect is much more robust in runoff elections.

(2015) Framing race and class in Brazil: Afro-Brazilian support for racial versus class policy, Politics Groups and Identities

Because of the strong correlation between race and class in Brazil, it has been difficult for scholars to assess the degree to which either provides Brazilians with politically relevant identities. The impacts of race and class are compared with a priming experiment using Afro-Brazilian subjects. The results indicate that subjects identifying as blacks are more responsive than non-black subjects to racial primes, resulting in stronger support for government intervention aimed at racial rather than class inequality. Relevant comparisons to race in the USA are discussed.