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Faculty Profile

Sarah Niebler

(she/they)Associate Professor of Political Science (2013)

Contact Information

on sabbatical Fall 2023

Denny Hall Room 302


Professor Niebler's research and teaching interests are in the area of American politics, specifically campaigns and elections, political behavior, and public opinion. She teaches courses on those topics as well as Mass Media and American Politics, Polarization and American Politics, and Research Methods. Her scholarly work has been published in the American Journal of Political Science, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Political Communication, the Journal of Public Economics, the Journal of Elections, Public Opinion & Parties, American Politics Research, and the Journal of Women, Politics, and Policy. Additionally, her research and analysis has been featured on NPR’s “Hidden Brain”, and in The Hill and Roll Call, among others. Currently, Professor Niebler is working on a project examining the nationalization of American political campaigns, asking how much coordination and incidental compatibility is taking place between campaigns at the presidential, congressional, and state legislative levels in 2020.


  • B.A., Muhlenberg College, 2004
  • M.A., Lehigh University, 2005
  • M.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2008
  • Ph.D., 2012

2023-2024 Academic Year

Spring 2024

POSC 120 American Government
A basic introductory course in American federal government which emphasizes its structure and operation. Special attention is given to the executive, legislative, and judicial processes.

POSC 290 Politics of US Pres Primaries
“The people can vote for whom they please if they let me do the nominating.” – Boss Twead While the exact wording of this quote is not known for certain, the principle is clear – nominations matter! In this class, we will examine the history and contemporary nature of the presidential nominating process in the United States. Given that this class is happening during a presential election year, we will have the opportunity to observe the nominating process as it plays out in real time. Thus, the overarching question we will consider is the degree to which existing theories and literatures about presidential nominating contests tell us anything important about what we observe in spring 2024. To answer this question, we will study the history of nominating contests in the U.S., including the McGovern Fraser Commission and the post-1968 reforms. We will also consider “rules of the game,” including things like delegate selection procedures, frontloading, and primaries versus caucuses. Then, we will examine factors that have been said to influence how people choose for whom to vote in primaries, such as debates, media (traditional and social), advertisements, money, endorsements, and polling. Finally, we will consider possible reforms to the nominating process in the U.S.

POSC 490 Senior Thesis
Permission of Instructor Required.