Ray La Raja

Associate Professor
Department of Political Science

Raymond J. La Raja is an associate professor in political science and associate director of the UMass Poll, which conducts Internet-based surveys of voters nationally. His research focuses on political parties, interest groups, elections and campaign finance. He is the author of Small Change: Money, Political Parties and Campaign Finance Reform (U. Michigan Press 2008), editor of New Directions in American Politics (Routledge, 2013) and has a forthcoming co-authored book with Brian Schaffner, When Purists Prevail: How Campaign Finance Reform Polarizes American Legislatures (U. Michigan Press). He is founding editor of The Forum, an electronic journal of applied research in contemporary American politics and serves on the Academic Advisory Board of the Campaign Finance Institute in Washington, DC.  His current projects include studies of public financing of elections and reforms to improve voter turnout.  

Recent Publications:

  • Raymond J. La Raja and David L. Wiltse. 2012. “Don’t Blame Donors for Ideological Polarization of Political Parties.” American Politics Research 40(3): 501-30.
  • Raymond J. La Raja. 2008.  Small Change: Money, Political Parties, and Campaign Finance Reform. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Keywords: political contributions, money in politics, partisan polarization, political ideology, money, political parties, campaign finance reform