- Political Communication
- News Media
- Public Opinion
- Presidential Discourse
- Religion and American Politics
My research on the interaction of political discourse, news media, and public opinion is anchored within the political communication and mass communication traditions of the communication discipline but draws widely from related literatures in political science, psychology, and history. My three-part research program examines (a) how political elites communicate strategically to influence media coverage and public perceptions; (b) how news media report political news and transmit political messages; and (c) how public opinion is or is not shaped by political discourse. Thus far my examination of these issues has focused largely on three topics: war, religion, and U.S. national identity. Whatever the topic, my work aims to both make meaningful contributions to theory and to help audiences within and outside academe make sense of political issues central to the maintenance of American democracy.