Dr. Joshua Meyer-Gutbrod, P.I.

Dr. Meyer-Gutbrod is a member of the teaching faculty at the University of South Carolina, Department of Political Science and founder of the Digital Campaigns Project (DCP). Previously he was a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow. He received his PhD from Cornell University.

Dr. Meyer-Gutbrod’s research explores the limits of the growing animosity between Democratic and Republican politicians associated with partisan polarization by examining bipartisan cooperation between federal and state agents. Specifically, his work explores partisan rhetoric at different levels of government, with a focus on the President, members of Congress, and state legislators. Conventional wisdom suggests that national partisan division and the nationalization of politics will produce consistent polarization across institutions. His research explores inconsistencies, with the goal of identifying mechanisms for undermining polarization. He argues that the mechanisms inherent in America’s federated institutions can challenge national partisan polarization by creating avenues for effective bipartisan governance and enduring policy.

Current Students

Hagan Hiott

Hagan Hiott is a junior studying political science and history at the South Carolina Honors College at the University of South Carolina. Her research focuses on political campaign images and how they reveal shared identities such as race, gender, religion, and the urban-rural divide with voters. She is from Charleston, South Carolina, and after graduation, plans to attend law school or work in government. 

Former Students

Viginia Eberlin

Virginia is a senior at the University of South Carolina.This past semester, she worked as a congressional intern and has dedicated her final semester to research in political science. Her senior thesis work focuses on the connection between major media outlets, state-level campaigns, and public perception of political cues with an emphasis on familiarity and credibility. To conduct her research, she recently launched a national scale public opinion survey. She hopes to attend graduate school or law school but is still discovering how to begin her full-time career.

Rachael Erickson

Rachael is a two-time alumna of USC originally from Columbia, MO (Political Science and History ’23; MPA ’24). Her research centers on political and public reactions to opioid use, race in political media, and welfare policy implementation.

Rachael won the 2022-2023 University Libraries Undergraduate Research Awards for her work on rhetoric on opioids in state legislative campaigns.

Emma O’Keeffe

Emma O’Keeffe is a senior political science student at the University of South Carolina and is originally from Toms River, New Jersey. After graduation, Emma plans to pursue a master’s degree in political science and/or attend law school. Her research examines political rhetoric in White House press briefings, particularly interruptions on the basis of gender.

Felicity Ropp

Felicity is a senior political science and history major at the University of South Carolina Honors College and originally hails from upstate SC. Her research looks at how state political parties and campaigns frame poverty and welfare, particularly comparing urban/rural variables and concentrating on the American South. After graduation, she plans to work a few years in state government before pursuing a master’s in public policy focused on social policy and poverty alleviation. In her spare time, Felicity can be found browsing an antique store, working on a crossword puzzle, or making a mess in the kitchen.

Kiley Cosby

Kiley Cosby is a Junior Political Science Major in the University of South Carolina Honors College. She is originally from Chapin, South Carolina and plans to attend Law School after graduation. Her project is focused on gender discrepancies in state campaigns. She is researching how campaign rhetoric differs between men and women, and what issues each group tends to focus on more, with a special focus on abortion issues during the 2022 campaign.

Max J. Heckman

Max is a 2024 graduate of the University of South Carolina. For his Honors thesis titled “How State Legislative Candidates Talked About the Black Lives Matter Protests of 2020,” he completed an analysis of rhetoric employed by state level candidates on racial issues with the goal of understanding the relationship between national narratives and local contexts, the partisan dynamics of racial rhetoric, and state level campaigning. He is currently pursuing his JD at Georgetown University.

Ewan Thompson

Ewan is a December 2023 graduate of the University of South Carolina. His research focuses on the relationship between legislative chamber control and negative campaign speech. Following graduation, he returned to his native Alexandria, Virginia and currently works as a legislative assistant for a member of the Senate of Virginia. He plans on attending graduate school at some point in the future.

Web Design Team

Sophia Riley

Sophia Riley is a recent alumnus of the University of South Carolina, hailing from Pinopolis, South Carolina. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Computer Science at the Technological University of Munich. While at the University of South Carolina, she worked as a web developer for the Digital Research Services and Collections department at Thomas Cooper Library. After earning her master’s degree, she aspires to pursue a career in academia as a professor.

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