top of page

I am an associate professor in the Political Science department at the University of Houston. My research uses survey and experimental data to explore the behavior of both candidates and voters in U.S. elections. More specifically, my work looks at the causes and consequences of candidate position-taking and how non-policy factors influence voter decisions. Click here for more information and my complete CV.

In addition to teaching courses on campaigns and elections, I also frequently provide media or public commentary on topics related to my research.

Anchor 1
Anchor 2



I am honored to be a winner of the 2016-2017 University of Houston Teaching Excellence Provost Core Award.

While I enjoy being in the classroom, I have also developed an interest in best practices for online learning. I piloted the delivery of the core introductory course and am developing a hybrid format for the mandatory undergraduate research methods course.

Students currently enrolled in one of my courses should refer to the Blackboard page.

Undergraduate Courses Offered

  • Introduction to U.S. and Texas Constitution and Politics

  • Elections

  • Research Methods

  • Political Parties

Graduate Courses Offered

  • American Political Behavior

  • American Political Parties



Alex Badas and Elizabeth Simas. Conditionally Accepted. “The Supreme Court as an Electoral Issue: Evidence from Three Studies.” Political Science Research and Methods.

Blog Post for the Washington Post's Monkey Cage

Scott Clifford, Elizabeth Simas, and Justin Kirkland. Conditionally Accepted. “Do Elections Keep the Compassionate out of the Candidate Pool?” Public Opinion Quarterly.

Elizabeth Simas. Accepted. "Extremely High Quality?: How Ideology Shapes Perceptions of Candidates' Personal Traits."  Public Opinion Quarterly.

Elizabeth Simas. Accepted. “But Can She Make America Great Again: Threat, Stability, and Candidate Sex in U.S. Elections.” Political Behavior. 

Political Behavior Blog Post

Elizabeth Simas, Kerri Milita, and John Barry Ryan. Accepted. “Ambiguous Rhetoric and Legislative Accountability.” Journal of Politics.   

Elizabeth Simas. 2021. "“Medicare for All, Some, or None?: Testing the Effects of Ambiguity in the Context of the 2020 Presidential Election.” PS: Political Science & Politics, 54(2): 208-213

LSE U.S. Centre Blog Post on Article

Elizabeth Simas, Scott Clifford, and Justin Kirkland. 2020. "How Empathic Concern Fuels Political Polarization." American Political Science Review, 114(1): 258-269.

Elizabeth Simas and Doug Murdoch (UH Graduate Student). 2020. “’I Didn’t Lie, I Misspoke’: Voters’ Responses to Questionable Campaign Statements.” Journal of Experimental Political Science, 7(2): 75-88.


Scott Clifford, Justin Kirkland, and Elizabeth Simas. 2019. “How Dispositional Empathy Influences Political Ambition.” Journal of Politics, 81 (3): 1043-1056.


Elizabeth Simas. 2018. “Perceptions of the Heterogeneity of Party Elites in the United States.” Party Politics, 24(4): 444-454.


Elizabeth Simas. 2018 “Ideology through the Partisan Lens: Applying Anchoring Vignettes to U.S. Survey Research.” International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 30(3): 343-364


Elizabeth Simas and Marcia Bumgardner (UH Graduate Student). 2017. “Modern Sexism and the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election: Reassessing the Casualties of the ‘War on Women.’” Politics & Gender, 13(3): 359-378.


Elizabeth Simas. 2017. “The Effects of Electability on U.S. Primary Voters.” Journal of Elections, Public Opinion, and Parties, 27(3): 274-290.


Elizabeth Simas and Adam Ozer (UH Graduate Student). 2017. “Church or State?: Reassessing How Religion Shapes Perceptions Candidate Positions.” Research & Politics, 4(2).


Kerri Milita, Elizabeth Simas, John Ryan, and Yanna Krupnikov. 2017. “The Effects of Ambiguous Rhetoric in Congressional Elections.” Electoral Studies, 46(1): 48-63.


John Ryan, Kerri Milita, and Elizabeth Simas. 2014. “Nothing to Hide, Nowhere to Run, or Nothing to Lose: Candidate Position-Taking in Congressional Elections.” Political Behavior, 36(2): 427-449. 


Elizabeth Simas. 2013. “Proximity Voting in the 2010 U.S. House Elections.” Electoral Studies, 32(4): 708-717


Cindy Kam and Elizabeth Simas. 2012. “Risk Attitudes, Candidate Characteristics, and Vote Choice.” Public Opinion Quarterly, 76(4): 747-760


Elizabeth Simas and Kevin Evans. 2011. “Linking Party Platforms to Perceptions of Presidential Candidates’ Policy Positions, 1972-1996.”  Political Research Quarterly, 64(4): 831-839


James Adams, Samuel Merrill, Elizabeth Simas, and Walter Stone. 2011.“When Candidates Value Good Character: A Spatial Model with Applications to Congressional Elections.” Journal of Politics, 73(1): 17-30. 


Cindy Kam and Elizabeth Simas. 2010. “Risk Orientations and Policy Frames.”  Journal of Politics, 72(2): 381-396.


Walter Stone and Elizabeth Simas. 2010. “Candidate Valence and Ideological Positions in U.S. House Elections.”  American Journal of Political Science, 54(2): 371-388

Anchor 3


Contact Elizabeth N. Simas regarding her published work, course offerings or any other inquires.

3551 Cullen Blvd. Room 447 Philip Guthrie Hoffman Hall Houston, TX 77204

(713) 743-9962

  • twitter
Anchor 4
bottom of page