Nathan Morse

PhD Student in Political Science at Penn State University

I am a graduate student at Penn State studying American politics, and I am planning to pursue a dual-title PhD in Political Science and Social Data Analytics. I received my BA at the University of Florida in Statistics and Political Science. I focused on election data science, applied statistical methods, and political theory.

My primary research interests are polarization and inequality. For the former, I take a political communication perspective to study the mechanisms through which social media deepens polarization. For the latter, I mostly focus on institutional design to understand how the structure of the government itself perpetuates economic, social, and political inequality.

BA, Statistics and Political Science, 2019
University of Florida (UF)
Gainesville, FL

Do Large States Really Differ from Small States? Testing Divisions in the United States Senate

Term Paper, December 2019. The apportionment of the U.S. Senate boosts the per-capita voting power of smaller states, a practice often justified by the fear that large states may gang up on small states and overpower them. Using legislation data from Congress, I assess whether there are systematic differences in the type of legislation sponsored by small-state senators and large-state senators. A variety of statistical procedures consistently fail to provide evidence that small states and large states have fundamentally different political interests. However, urban states and rural states do have different political interests. This suggests that while state size may appear to be a significant source of division among states, it merely coincides with deeper underlying cultural differences.

Voter Registration Rates: Identifying Where People Are Not Registered and Why

Undergraduate Research Paper, November 2018. While much research exists comparing voter turnout to population counts, not a lot compares voter registration to population counts. Registration rates could be valuable for campaigns looking to make strategic decisions regarding where resources would be the most effective. Using North Carolina's voter registration data, I explore trends in registration rates across counties. Although I was not seeking to answer any empirical question in particular, the results suggest that further research into the effectiveness of voter registration drives is needed. In North Carolina at least, campaigns would likely benefit from listening to disillusioned registered voters rather than signing up new ones.

Research Assistant (Suzanna Linn), Pennsylvania State University

January 2020 – Present. Administrative work and data organization for the Society for Political Methodology.

Research Assistant (Ray Block), Pennsylvania State University

August 2019 – Present. Data collection and exploratory analysis of public opinion data on police violence.

Research Assistant (Michael McDonald), University of Florida

January 2019 – August 2019. Compiled voter registration files from around the country; maintained in an encrypted virtual machine; developed open-source framework for standardizing voter files from each state using R and Python.

Associate for Assessment, J. Wayne Reitz Union, University of Florida

April 2017 – May 2019. Data scientist for major student affairs department. Managed large databases (~30,000 rows) and coded complex data manipulation processes; ran statistical tests, fit data to models, and formulated assessment metrics to gain insights; designed reports, data visualizations, and graphics; gave oral presentations to administrators; calculated employee performance indexes and determined areas of improvement for trainings; built automatic monthly report system in R with aggregated satisfaction scores for hotel; discovered factors that maximize budget efficiency for weekly GatorNights program using an attendance model, and discovered factors that maximize budget efficiency using an attendance model.


R (proficient)
Python (basic)
Java (basic)
HTML/CSS (proficient)
Spanish (conversational)


SPSS (proficient)
Qualtrics (advanced)
Microsoft Office (advanced)
Adobe Suite (basic)

University of Florida

Student Conduct Committee
Chairperson (March 2017 – August 2019)
Member (January 2016 – August 2019)

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Student Council
Vice President (April 2017 – April 2019)
Treasurer (April 2016 – April 2017)
Member (October 2015 – April 2019)

Student Government Senate
Minority Leader (January 2018 – April 2018)
Senator (October 2017 – April 2018)

Reitz Union Board of Managers
Vice Chair (August 2017 – April 2018)
Vice Chair (August 2017 – April 2018)
Member (August 2016 – April 2018)

Awards & Honors

Best Committee Chairperson Award
UF Student Conduct Committee (April 2019)

State & Local Research Panelist
Florida Political Science Association (March 2019)

Team Player Award
UF J. Wayne Reitz Union (April 2018)

203 Pond Lab, University Park, PA 16802