Scott Matthews


Scott Matthews webpage pic 2023 

SN 2047

Department of Political Science, Science Building
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John's, NL A1B 3X9 Canada

Telephone: (709) 864-3093
Email: scott[dot]matthews[at]mun[dot]ca


BA, MA (Simon Fraser); PhD (UBC)

Areas for Student Research Supervision

  • Elections, public opinion and voting behaviour
  • Political psychology
  • Political parties
  • Parties and elections in the US and Canada

Examples of Recent Courses Taught

3010 Empirical Methods in Political Science
3310 American Politics


Dr. Matthews (Ph.D., UBC) specializes in the study of elections, voting and public opinion in established democracies. While much of his work focuses on Canada or the United States, he is also a student of comparative political behaviour. His research focuses primarily on the effects of election campaigns on political decision making, the impact of institutional context on policy attitudes, and retrospective voting. He is past holder of the Fulbright Canada Visiting Research Chair at Vanderbilt University and a Humboldt Fellowship at the University of Mannheim. 

Selected Publications


Austin Hart and J. Scott Matthews. In press. Quality Control: Experiments on the Microfoundations of Retrospective Voting. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Journal Articles

Vincent Hopkins, Mark Pickup, and J. Scott Matthews. Forthcoming. ‘Ambiguous COVID-19 Messaging Increases Unsafe Socializing Intentions.’ Journal of Behavioural Public Administration.

Randy Besco and J. Scott Matthews. Forthcoming (Online version, 2022). 'Racial Spillover in Political Attitudes: Generalizing to a New Leader and Context.' Political Behavior.

Austin Hart and J. Scott Matthews. 2022. ‘Unmasking accountability: Judging performance in an interdependent world.’ The Journal of Politics 84-3: 1607-1622.

J. Scott Matthews, R. Michael McGregor, and Laura Stephenson. 2022. ‘Conceptualizing Municipal Politics: The Case of Toronto 2018.’ Urban Affairs Review 58-5: 1438-1465.

J.S. Matthews, R.M. McGregor, & L.B. Stephenson. 2021. ‘Levels of Conceptualization and Municipal Politics: Replication in a New Context.’ Frontiers in Political Science 3: 738569.

R.M. McGregor, C.A. Anderson, É. Bélanger, S. Breux, J. Lucas, J., J. S. Matthews, A. Mévellec, A.A. Moore, S. Pruysers, L.B. Stephenson, & E. Tolley. 2021. ‘The Canadian Municipal Election Study.’ Frontiers in Political Science 3: 745331.

Mark Manger and J. Scott Matthews. 2021. ‘Knowing When to Splurge: Precautionary Saving and Chinese-Canadians’. Journal of Asian Economics 76: 101367.

Alan Jacobs, J. Scott Matthews, Timothy Hicks and Eric Merkley. 2021. 'Whose News? Class-Biased Economic Reporting in the United States.' American Political Science Review 115-3: 1016-1033.

J. Scott Matthews and Mark Pickup. 2019. ‘Rational Learners or Impervious Partisans?: Economic News and Partisan Bias in Economic Perceptions.’ Canadian Journal of Political Science 52-2: 303-321.

J. Scott Matthews. 2019. ‘Issue Priming Revisited: Susceptible Voters and Detectable Effects.’ British Journal of Political Science 49-2: 513-531.

Alan Jacobs and J. Scott Matthews. 2017. ‘Policy Attitudes in Institutional Context: Rules, Uncertainty, and the Mass Politics of Public Investment.’ American Journal of Political Science 61-1: 194-207.

Timothy Hicks, Alan Jacobs, and J. Scott Matthews. 2016. ‘Inequality and Electoral Accountability: Class-Biased Economic Voting in Comparative Perspective.’ The Journal of Politics 78-4: 1076-1093.

Randy Besco, Bailey Gerrits, and J. Scott Matthews. 2016. ‘White Millionaires and Hockey Skates: Racial and Gendered Mediation in News Coverage of a Canadian Mayoral Election.’ International Journal of Communication 10: 4641-4660.

J. Scott Matthews and Amanda Bittner. 2015. ‘Newfoundland and Labrador Votes: An Account of the Determinants of Vote Choice in the 2011 Election.’ Canadian Political Science Review 9-2: 21-41.

Elizabeth Goodyear-Grant, J. Scott Matthews and Janet Hiebert. 2013. ‘The Courts/Parliament Trade-off: Canadian Attitudes on Judicial Influence in Public Policy.’ Commonwealth and Comparative Politics 51-3: 377-397.

J. Scott Matthews, Mark Pickup, and Fred Cutler. 2012. ‘The Mediated Horserace: Campaign Polls and Poll Reporting.’  Canadian Journal of Political Science 45-2: 261-287.

Alan Jacobs and J. Scott Matthews.  2012.  ‘Why Do Citizens Discount the Future? Public Opinion and the Timing of Policy Consequences.’  British Journal of Political Science 42-4: 903-935.

Mark Pickup, J. Scott Matthews, Will Jennings, Robert Ford, and Stephen Fisher.  2011.  ‘Why did the polls overestimate Lib Dem support? Sources of Polling Error in the 2010 British General Election.’  Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties 21-2: 179-209. (Reprinted in: Justin Fisher & Christopher Wlezien, eds. 2012. The UK General Election of 2010: Explaining the Outcome. New York, NY: Routledge.)

Scott Matthews and Richard Johnston. 2010. ‘The Campaign Dynamics of Economic Voting.’  Electoral Studies 29: 13-24.

Scott Matthews and Lynda Erickson. 2008. ‘Welfare State Structures and the Structure of Welfare State Support: Attitudes Towards Social Spending in Canada, 1993-2000.’  European Journal of Political Research 47: 411-435.

Richard Johnston, J. Scott Matthews and Amanda Bittner.  2007.  ‘Turnout and the Party System in Canada, 1988-2004.’  Electoral Studies 26: 735-745.

J. Scott Matthews. 2005. ‘The Political Foundations of Support for Same-Sex Marriage in Canada.’ Canadian Journal of Political Science 38-4: 841-866. (Reprinted (excerpt) in: Peter Russell, et al., eds. 2016. Essential Readings in Canadian Government and Politics, 2nd Edition. Toronto, ON: Emond Montgomery Publications.)

J. Scott Matthews and Lynda Erickson. 2005. ‘Public Opinion and Social Citizenship in Canada.’ Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology 42-4: 373-401.

Fred Cutler and J. Scott Matthews.  2005.  ‘The Challenge of Municipal Voting: Vancouver 2002.’ Canadian Journal of Political Science 38-2: 359-383.


Randy Besco and J. Scott Matthews. 2022. ‘Do Municipal Campaigns Enlighten Municipal Voters? Evidence from Montréal and Québec City’. In Michael McGregor, Eric Bélanger, and Cameron Anderson, eds., Voting in Quebec Municipal Elections: A Tale of Two Cities. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Eline de Rooij, J. Scott Matthews, and Mark Pickup. 2021. ‘Voting in Vancouver, 2018.’ In Jack Lucas and Michael McGregor, eds., Big City Elections in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

J. Scott Matthews. 2017. ‘Towards a Poll-Savvy Citizenry.’ In Alex Marland and Lisa Moore, eds., Improving Democratic Governance in Newfoundland and Labrador. St. John’s, NL: ISER Books.

J. Scott Matthews. 2015. ‘Horserace Journalism Under Stress?’. In Alex Marland and Thierry Giasson, eds., Canadian Election Analysis: Communication, Strategy and Democracy. Vancouver: UBC Press.

J. Scott Matthews and Denver McNeney. 2014. ‘“We like this”: The impact of news websites’ consensus information on political attitudes.’ In Alex Marland, Thierry Giasson, and Tamara Small, eds., Political Communication in Canada: Meet the Press and Tweet the Rest. Vancouver, BC: UBC Press.

J. Scott Matthews, Matthew Mendelsohn and Randy Besco. 2013. ‘Regionalism in Political Attitudes, 1993 to 2010.’ In Matthew Mendelsohn, Joshua Hjartarson and James Pearce, eds., Canada: The State of the Federation 2010 - Shifting Power: The New Ontario and What it Means for Canada. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press.

J. Scott Matthews. 2013. ‘When Partisans are Attacked: Motivated Reasoning and the New Party System.’ In Amanda Bittner and Royce Koop, eds., Parties, Elections and the Future of Canadian Politics. Vancouver: UBC Press.

Allison Harell, Dimitrios Panagos, and J. Scott Matthews.  2011.  ‘Explaining Aboriginal Turnout in Federal Elections: Evidence from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.’  In Jerry White, Julie Peters, Dan Beavon and Peter Dinsdale, eds., Aboriginal Policy Research, Volume 10: Research Methods, Justice, Governance and Politics.  Toronto: Thompson Educational Publishing.

J. Scott Matthews. 2010. ‘Enlightenment, Equalization or What? Campaigns, Learning and the Economy in Canadian Elections.’  In Laura Stephenson and Cameron Anderson, eds., Voting Behaviour in Canada.  Vancouver: UBC Press.



J. Scott Matthews. 2022. The Motivation to Vote: Explaining Electoral Participation. By André Blais and Jean-François Daoust. (Book review). Perspectives on Politics 20-2: 750-751.

Alan M. Jacobs, J. Scott Matthews, Timothy Hicks, and Eric Merkley. 2020. ‘Whose News? Class-Biased Economic Reporting in the United States’. Washington Center for Equitable Growth Working Paper. Washington, DC: Washington Center for Equitable Growth.

J. Scott Matthews. 2019. ‘Public Opinion and Managing Subnational Fiscal Risks.’ Institute of Intergovernmental Relations Working Paper 2019-03. Kingston, ON: School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University.

Matthew Mendelsohn and J. Scott Matthews.  2010.  The New Ontario: The Shifting Attitudes of Ontarians toward the Federation.  Toronto: Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation. 

Allison Harell, Dimitrios Panagos, and J. Scott Matthews. 2009. Explaining Aboriginal Turnout in Federal Elections: Evidence from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Ottawa: Elections Canada.