I am an Associate Professor of Political Science at SUNY New Paltz where I teach classes on American politics, state and local politics, public policy, and social science research methods. I am also a co-author to Ed Greenberg and Benjamin Page’s introductory American politics textbook The Struggle for Democracy.

My research focuses on the geography of American politics with an emphasis on local government, budgetary politics, public policy, public goods, and voting. Most of my work involves the use of geographic information systems (GIS), mapping, point pattern analysis, and other spatial statistical methods. I have published on a range of topics including the spatial relationships that exist between cities and how they impact budgetary decisions, the distribution of public goods, and how local context impacts attitudes about politics and inequality. Recent work includes studies of how neighborhood income diversity impacts attitudes about income inequality and the links between public goods quality and social capital development. You can find my work in American Politics Research, Political Geography, Urban Affairs Review, and Social Science Quarterly. (CV)

Todd Makse (Florida International), Anand Sokhey (CU Boulder), and I have published a book with Oxford University Press.  Politics on Display: Yard Signs and the Politicization of Social Spaces examines one of the most conspicuous features of American political campaigns, yet one that has received little attention as a form of political communication or participation: campaign yard signs. In a climate in which the American public is highly polarized, these symbols are more than simple campaign tools—they are literal markers of partisan identity. As public cues that push into private life, they affect individuals and their neighborhoods, coloring perceptions of social spaces and impacting social networks. We document political life in two suburban neighborhoods using an innovative research design that combines street-level observation of the placement of signs and neighborhood-specific survey research that delves into the attitudes, behavior, and social networks of residents.

I can be reached at sminkoff@gmail.com.