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Political Science

Ben Gaskins

Assistant Professor

Ben Gaskins is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Lewis & Clark College. He teaches both American and Comparative Politics, including religion and politics, mass media, public opinion, group politics, and political institutions. His research focuses mainly on the effect of religious commitment on opinion formation, voting behavior, and democratic citizenship. His work also looks at how citizens learn about politics and how they make political choices. His research has been published in The American Journal of Political Science, The Journal of Politics, Politics & Religion, American Politics Research, and The International Journal of Press/Politics.


Fall 2019

POLS 103 Intro to American Politics

The politics of the founding period; interactions within and among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches; the federal division of institutionalized powers; public opinion, interest groups, and political parties; the policy process in areas such as defense, welfare, civil rights and liberties, and international affairs.

POLS 252 Public Opinion and Survey Research

The role of public opinion in the American
political process; the problem of identifying the
public and the extent to which this public
exercises political authority; techniques of
researching public opinion. Political
socialization, formation of attitudes, group
differences, mass opinion, elite opinion, direct
action. Research design, data collection, scaling, analysis, and interpretation of data in the context of research on polling.

POLS 351 Presidential Politics

Constitutional foundations and the unfolding of
various concepts of executive power throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. The dynamics of the presidency and the extent to which one person can be held responsible for expanded responsibilities. The organizational models and practices of 20th-century presidents. Other branches of government examined to illuminate the functioning and malfunctioning of the executive branch.

POLS 400 Senior Thesis


Gaskins, Ben, Jason Barabas, and Jennifer Jerit. 2019. “Qualitative Quotes: The Prevalence and Effects of Survey Respondent Exemplars in Political News Coverage.” Forthcoming at The International Journal of Press/Politics.


Gaskins, Ben, Todd Lochner, Ellen Seljan, Katie Kowal, Zane Dundon, & Maya Gold. 2019. “From the FEC to the Ballot Box: Voter Accountability for Campaign Finance Law Violations.” Forthcoming at American Politics Research.


Gaskins, Ben. 2019. “The Effects of Religious Attendance and Evangelical Identification on Media Perception and Political Knowledge.” Politics & Religion 12(2): 346–384.


Clifford, Scott & Ben Gaskins. 2016. “Trust Me, I Believe in God: Candidate Religiousness as a Signal of Trustworthiness.” American Politics Research 44(6) 1066–1097.


Beard, T. Randolph, Robert B. Ekelund Jr., George S. Ford, Ben Gaskins, & Robert D. Tollison. 2013. “Secularism, Religion, and Political Choice in the United States.” Politics & Religion 6(4): 753 – 777.

Gaskins, Ben, Matt Golder, & David Siegel. 2013. “Religious Participation and Economic Conservatism.” American Journal of Political Science 57(4): 823-840.

Gaskins, Ben, Matt Golder, & David Siegel. 2013. “Religious Participation, Social Conservatism, and Human Development.” Journal of Politics 75(4): 1125-1141

Gaskins, Benjamin and Jennifer Jerit. 2012. “Internet News: Is it a Replacement for Traditional Media Outlets?” 2012. The International Journal of Press/Politics 17(2): 190-213.

Academic Credentials

B.A. in Political Science and Music, Furman University (2006)
M.S. in Political Science, Florida State University (2008)
Ph.D. in Political Science, Florida State University (2011)

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Political Science


Ben Gaskins’s office is located in room 328 of John R. Howard Hall.


voice 503-768-7604

Ben Gaskins Assistant Professor

Political Science Lewis & Clark 0615 S.W. Palatine Hill Road Portland OR 97219 USA