Areas of Expertise & Civic Involvements
Thomsen’s research examines partisan polarization in Congress and the growing disparity in the number of Democratic and Republican women in congressional office. In particular, she analyzes how changes in partisan polarization have influenced the types of political candidates that run for Congress. Her research demonstrates, first, that the rise in polarization has discouraged ideological moderates from seeking elective office. In addition, because women have historically been to the ideological left of their male counterparts, the rightward shift of the Republican Party has had a disproportionate effect on Republican women.