Christopher Towler, PhD


Academic Bio
Dr. Christopher Towler is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at California State University, Sacramento. His research and teaching interests broadly include American politics, race and ethnicity, and methodology. More specifically, his work examines ideological predispositions, alienation, political allegiance and support. Recent projects examine the dynamic relationship between progressive social movements and far-right movements reacting to great social change. He received his Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Washington, Seattle, and holds a B.A. from the University of Colorado. A former McNair and Ralph Bunche scholar, Dr. Towler was also a McNair Graduate Fellow as well as a Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral and Dissertation Fellow. His work has been published in Perspectives on Politics, Journal of Race, Ethnicity and Politics and Du Bois Review. Dr. Towler also directs the Black Voter Project public opinion survey, a national survey project of Black Americans, with results highlighted in Politico Magazine, Washington Post, Time Magazine, USA Today, Seattle Times, and the Atlantic.
Consulting Bio

Since starting at Sacramento State University, Dr. Towler has consulted for a number of clients on various state and local projects. Namely, as a Senior Policy Advisor to the California Policy and Research Initiative (CalPRI), Dr. Towler represented CalPRI on numerous policy and data projects, research talks, presentations, media appearances and news publications. For instance, Dr. Towler compiled, edited and co-authored parts of the Agenda for California: An African American Perspective policy brief. The document was distributed to policy makers across the state, and Dr. Towler presented specific policy briefs from the Agenda to Governor Newsom in August of 2019.

Dr. Towler has also contributed to many other statewide policy projects, such as the COVID-19 Economic Agenda policy brief document, delivered to Governor Newsom’s Economic COVID-19 Taskforce in 2020. Furthermore, Dr. Towler’s work with CalPRI included consultation on census and redistricting efforts, education reform and criminal justice policy. He has partnered with the Los Angeles African American Women’s Public Policy Institute (LAAAWPPI) as a mentor for their yearly public policy seminar, and acts as a regular expert speaker for state and local non-profit organizations, such as Brilliantly Black and Color of Change PAC. Dr. Towler has also advised the local redistricting efforts for members of the Los Angeles City Council, and (working with Evitarus) contributed to projects examining the health experiences and expectations of Black Californians. Currently, Dr. Towler consults with the California Office of the Secretary of State (SOS) on research projects, reports, and outreach and education efforts to ensure inclusion of hard to reach voter groups as counties transition to the Voter’s Choice Act (VCA) voting model.

Black Voter Project

The Black Voter Project (BVP) was created to emphasize the instrumental role black voters play in our understanding of American politics through a series of public opinion surveys that explore African American political attitudes, behavior and voting in ways that are often unexamined. With a focus on contemporary issues in politics, the BVP relies upon expertise in political history and survey design to glean unique insights into African American mobilization and social movement organization. Moreover, the Black Voter Project (BVP) fulfills a need to offer reliable and scientific polling data for African Americans across the United States. The series of surveys also includes the collection of panel data, or responses from the same respondents over time, making it one of only a few social science datasets containing panel data for Black Americans. The BVP currently includes four public opinion surveys with data collected from an online questionnaires administered by non-partisan survey research centers with access to mobile panels for market and academic research.


Black Voter Project Surveys:

  • 2017 Black Voter Project Pilot Study (Regional study; N=511)
  • 2019 National Black Voter Project Study (N=1545)
  • 2020 National Black Voter Project Panel Study (N=1332)
  • 2021 California Black Voter Project Study (Statewide; N=514)
  • 2022 National Black Voter Project Panel Study (Expected 3rd Wave)*

*data currently being collected



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