Richard W. Boyd is Professor of Government Emeritus at Wesleyan. He received his B.A. from the University of Texas, Austin, in 1964 and his Ph.D. from Indiana University, Bloomington, in 1967. He taught at Wesleyan from 1969 to 2006. His research fields are in American politics, public opinion and electoral politics, and public opinion and foreign policy. He served as Dean of the Social Sciences and Director of the Public Affairs Center.  Boyd was Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at Wesleyan from 1994-2000.

Last Revised: January, 2013

Current Address:

687 Camellia Way

Los Altos, CA 94024


Link to Richard's and Martha's Personal Page

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Curriculum Vitae


Last Web Versions of Courses

Forthcoming Chapter

"Obama and the Public Mood." Chapter 3, Obama in Office. James A. Thurber (ed.) Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2011. PDF File.

The model specification, tables, and appendix, omitted from the published version of the chapter above, are presented in this abridged version of "The American Election of 2008: The Possibilities of Change in a Mature Party System," Paper presented at the 33rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology, San Francisco, CA, July 7-10. PDF File

Selected Conference Papers and Work in Progress

Paper, "The Elusive Concept of Issue Publics: Issue Salience in American Elections." A revised version of a paper co-authored with Steven M. Wengrovitz presented at the 28th Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology, Toronto, Canada, July 3-6, 2005. PDF File

Paper, "Vital Statistics: Births, Deaths, Immigration, and Political Change," presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, IL, April 12-15, 2007. PDF File Paper. PDF File Tables and Figures.

Paper, The Influence of Mass and Elite Foreign Policy Beliefs on Judgments of Presidential Performance." A revised version of a paper co-authored with Jeffrey B. Lewis presented at the Joint Annual Convention of the British International Studies Association and the International Studies Association, London, March 28-April 1, 1989. 2 PDF Files: Paper Figures


Richard Hofstetter, Richard W. Boyd, and Douglas Van Houweling, "A FORTRAN 3400/3600 Program for Computing Multiple‑Scale Guttman Scalogram Analyses," Behavioral Science, 12 (November, 1967), 500‑501.


Richard W. Boyd, "Presidential Elections: An Explanation of Voting Defection," American Political Science Review, 63 (June, 1969), 498‑515. PDF File


_______, and James T. Murphy, "The House in '71: a Prediction," The New Republic, October 24, 1970. PDF File


_______, "Popular Control of Government: A Normal Vote Analysis of the 1968 Election," American Political Science Review, 66 (June, 1972), 429‑449 and 468‑470. PDF File

 _______, "Electoral Trends in Postwar Politics," in James David Barber (ed.), Choosing the President (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice‑Hall, 1974), pp. 175‑201. PDF File

 _______, with Herbert H. Hyman, "Survey Research," in Fred I. Greenstein and Nelson W. Polsby (eds.), Handbook of Political Science, vol. VII, (Reading: Addison‑Wesley, 1975), pp. 265‑350. PDF Files Part 1 Part 2

 _______, "E. E. Schattschneider," in David L. Sills (ed.), International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences: Biographical Supplement (New York:  The Free Press, 1979), pp. 697‑701. PDF File

 _______, "Decline of U.S. Voter Turnout: Structural Explanations," American Politics Quarterly, 9 (April, 1981), 133‑159. PDF File

 _______,  and David J. Hadley, "Presidential and Congressional Response to Political Crisis: Nixon, Congress, and Watergate," Congress and the Presidency, 10 (Autumn, 1983), 195‑217. Reprinted in Joel H. Silbey (ed.), The Congress of the United States, 1789-1989, vol. 8, The Modern American Congress, 1963-1989, Brooklyn, NY:  Carlson Publishing, Inc., 1991. PDF File

 _______, "Electoral Change in the United States and Great Britain," British Journal of Political Science, 15 (October, 1985), 517‑528. PDF File

 _______, "Election Calendars and Voter Turnout," American Politics Quarterly, 14 (January‑April, 1986), 89‑104. PDF File

 _______, "Electoral Change and the Floating Voter: The Reagan Elections," Political Behavior, 8 (1986), 230‑244. PDF File

 Martha Crenshaw and Richard W. Boyd, "The 99th Congress and the Response to International Terrorism," in Congress and Foreign Policy 1985‑1986. Prepared by the Congressional Research Service for the House Foreign Affairs Committee, 1987. PDF File

 ______, with others, "The 1984 Election as Anthony Downs and Stanley Kelley Might Interpret It," Political Behavior, 10 (Fall, 1988), 197-213. PDF File

______, "The Effects of Primaries and Statewide Races on Voter Turnout," Journal of Politics, 51 (August, 1989), 730-739. PDF File

 ______, “World War II–Era Elections: 1942-1958,” John G. Geer (ed.), Public Opinion and Polling around the World: A Historical Encyclopedia, Vol. I, ABC-Clio Press, 2004, pp. 109-120. PDF File

 ______,"Obama and the Public Mood." 2011 Chapter 3, Obama in Office. James A. Thurber (ed.) Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers. PDF File.

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Last Web Versions of Courses

Spring 2006

Government 232 - Public Opinion and Electoral Politics


Fall 2005

Government 366 - Statistics for Social Scientists


Spring 2003

Government 201 - Citizens and the American State


Fall 2003

Government 151 -  American Government & Politics

Link to Richard's and Martha's Personal Page