Derek Holliday is a Postdoctoral Fellow for the Polarization Research Lab, a cross-university lab between Stanford, Dartmouth, and UPenn researching affective polarization, social trust, and political violence. His work with the lab has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. His research focuses on political representation, opinion, and behavior, especially in state and local politics. His methodological interests include survey experiments, text-as-data, and applications of machine learning in social science.

Derek received his PhD in Political Science in 2023 from UCLA, where he jointly obtained an MS in Statistics. At UCLA, he was the project coordinator for Nationscape, a U.S. election survey that interviewed almost half a million respondents through the 2020 Presidential campaign. Additionally, he worked as a research analyst for the UCLA COVID-19 Health and Politics Project, a collaboration between social scientists and doctors measuring people’s pandemic experiences and attitudes. Work from the project has been featured in the New York Times and published in Vaccine.

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All Publications

  • Uncommon and nonpartisan: Antidemocratic attitudes in the American public. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Holliday, D. E., Iyengar, S., Lelkes, Y., Westwood, S. J. 2024; 121 (13): e2313013121


    Democratic regimes flourish only when there is broad acceptance of an extensive set of norms and values. In the United States, fundamental democratic norms have recently come under threat from prominent Republican officials. We investigate whether this antidemocratic posture has spread from the elite level to rank-and-file partisans. Exploiting data from a massive repeated cross-sectional and panel survey ([Formula: see text] = 45,095 and 5,231 respectively), we find that overwhelming majorities of the public oppose violations of democratic norms, and virtually nobody supports partisan violence. This bipartisan consensus remains unchanged over time despite high levels of affective polarization and exposure to divisive elite rhetoric during the 2022 political campaign. Additionally, we find no evidence that elected officials' practice of election denialism encourages their constituents to express antidemocratic attitudes. Overall, these results suggest that the clear and present threat to American democracy comes from unilateral actions by political elites that stand in contrast to the views of their constituents. In closing, we consider the implications of the stark disconnect between the behavior of Republican elites and the attitudes of Republican voters.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.2313013121

    View details for PubMedID 38498713

  • Strategies to increase the intention to get vaccinated against COVID-19: Findings from a nationally representative survey of US adults, October 2020 to October 2021 VACCINE Naeim, A., Guerin, R. J., Baxter-King, R., Okun, A. H., Wenger, N., Sepucha, K., Stanton, A. L., Rudkin, A., Holliday, D., Hayes, A., Vavreck, L. 2022; 40 (52): 7571-7578


    We examined COVID-19 vaccination status, intention, and hesitancy and the effects of five strategies to increase the willingness of unvaccinated adults (≥18 years) to get a COVID vaccine.Online surveys were conducted between October 1-17, 2020 (N = 14,946), December 4-16, 2020 (N = 15,229), April 8-22, 2021 (N = 14,557), June 17-July 6, 2021 (N = 30,857), and September 3-October 4, 2021 (N = 33,088) with an internet-based, non-probability opt-in sample of U.S. adults matching demographic quotas. Respondents were asked about current COVID-19 vaccination status, intention and hesitancy to get vaccinated, and reasons for vaccine hesitancy. Unvaccinated respondents were assigned to treatment groups to test the effect of five strategies (endorsements, changing social restrictions, financial incentives, vaccine requirements for certain activities, and vaccine requirements for work). Chi-square tests of independence were performed to detect differences in the response distributions.Willingness to be vaccinated (defined as being vaccinated or planning to be) increased over time from 47.6 % in October 2020 to 81.1 % in October 2021. By October 2021, across most demographic groups, over 75 % of survey respondents had been or planned to be vaccinated. In terms of strategies: (1) endorsements had no positive effect, (2) relaxing the need for masks and social distancing increased Intention to Get Vaccinated (IGV) by 6.4 % (p < 0.01), (3) offering financial incentives increased the IGV between 12.3 and 18.9 % (p <.001), (4) vaccine requirements for attending sporting events or traveling increased IGV by 7.8 % and 9.1 %, respectively (p = 0.02), and vaccine requirement for work increased IGV by 35.4 %. The leading causes (not mutually exclusive) for hesitancy were concerns regarding vaccine safety (52.5 %) or side effects (51.6 %), trust in the government's motives (41.0 %), and concerns about vaccine effectiveness (37.6 %).These findings suggest that multiple strategies may be effective and needed to increase COVID-19 vaccination among hesitant adults during the pandemic.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.vaccine.2022.09.024

    View details for Web of Science ID 000993819200009

    View details for PubMedID 36357290

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC9464582