Charles R. Hunt

Hi! I'm currently an Assistant Professor of Political Science in Boise State University's School of Public Service. I specialize in the study of congressional representation, congressional elections, and electoral competition in the United States. I'm currently teaching courses on Polarization in American Politics, Congress, the presidency, campaigns and elections, and political representation in the U.S. I have Ph.D. in Government and Politics at the University of Maryland, College Park, and a B.A. in political science from Brown University.

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Home Field Advantage

My most recent book, entitled "Home Field Advantage: Roots, Reelection, and Representation in the Modern Congress" (University of Michigan Press),

demonstrates the importance of this understudied element of American congressional elections and representation in the modern era: the local, place-based roots that members of Congress have in their home districts. I find that legislators’ local roots in their district have a significant and independent impact on their election outcomes, campaign spending and fundraising, constituent communication styles, and more broadly on the relationship between members of the U.S. House of Representatives and their constituents.

Congress Explained

I am also the author, along with Casey Burgat, of the forthcoming textbook "Congress Explained: Representation and Lawmaking in the First Branch" (SAGE/CQ Press). Congress Explained helps students understand the individual members who operate the pulls-and-levers of the branch to achieve their legislative goals. Instead of introducing Congress through abstract theories or a list of procedures and processes, we walk students through the inner workings of Congress and how its members have come to see their jobs as representatives. Beyond passing legislation, representation includes how members communicate with their constituents, act in their home districts, and reflect the people whom they are tasked to serve. Discussing member motivations, purposes, backgrounds, and constraints allows students to thoroughly engage with how Congress, government, and politics fulfill their core responsibilities to the American people.