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Laurel Harbridge-Yong


B.S.: University of Colorado, 2004; Ph.D.: Stanford University, 2009
Curriculum Vitae


Research Interest(s): United States Congress; Congressional Elections; Primary Elections; Representation; Public Opinion; Party Conflict and Compromise; Bipartisanship; Threats and Violence against elected officials; and Public Policy

Program Area(s): Methods; American Politics

Regional Specialization(s): United States

Subfield Specialties: Experimental Methods; Political Parties; Public Opinion, Political Communication, and Political Participation


Laurel Harbridge-Yong is a Professor of Political Science and a Faculty Fellow at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University. She received her PhD in 2009 from Stanford University. Her research and teaching explores questions surrounding partisan conflict and the difficulty of reaching bipartisan agreements and legislative compromises in American politics. Her work spans projects on the U.S. Congress, state legislatures, and the mass public. She is the author of two books – Is Bipartisanship Dead? Policy Agreement and Agenda-Setting in the House of Representatives (2015) and Rejecting Compromise: Legislators’ Fear of Primary Voters (with Sarah Anderson and Daniel Butler, 2020) – and numerous journal articles.

Her research has been supported by the National Institute of Justice, National Science Foundation, Unite America, the National Science Foundation Time Sharing Experiments in the Social Sciences (TESS), the Social Science Research Council, and the Dirksen Congressional Center, among others. Her current research projects examine how primary elections shape representation, and how threats and violence against elected officials shape legislative behavior and whether the public rationalizes the use of political violence.

Select Publications

  • Anderson, Sarah E., Daniel M. Butler, Laurel Harbridge-Yong, and Renae Marshall. 2023. “Top-Four Primaries Help Moderate Candidates via Crossover Voting: The Case of the 2022 Alaska Election Reforms.” The Forum.
  • Harbridge-Yong, Laurel, Craig Volden and Alan E. Wiseman. 2023. “The Bipartisan Path to Effective Lawmaking.” The Journal of Politics. 85(3): 1048-1063. Online first view May 3, 2022.
  • Anderson, Sarah E., Daniel M. Butler, Laurel Harbridge-Yong, and G. Agustin Markarian. 2023. “Driving Legislators’ Policy Preferences: Constituent Commutes and Gas Taxes.” Legislative Studies Quarterly. 48(1): 203-218. Online first view December 15, 2021.
  • Redbird, Beth, Laurel Harbridge-Yong, and Rachel Davis Mersey. 2022. “The Social and Political Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Introduction.” RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences 8(8): 1-29.
  • Filindra, Alexandra, and Laurel Harbridge-Yong. 2022. “How Do Partisans Navigate Intra-Group Conflict? A Theory of Leadership-Driven Motivated Reasoning.” Political Behavior. 44:1437-1458. Online first view March 11, 2022.

Courses taught

  • Political Science 325 Congress and the Legislative Process
  • Political Science 395 Polarization in American Politics