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 Michael J. Towle, Ph.D.

Michael Towle

Department Chair / Professor

Department of Political Science

Knott Academic Center
Room 200D

+1 (301) 447-5374

Michael J. Towle has been teaching at Mount St. Mary’s since 1991. He received his bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. He has held the rank of full professor since 2004.

Towle teaches introductory and advanced courses in American politics, including Parties and Elections, The American Presidency, Congressional Politics, and the Supreme Court and Constitutional Law.

His primary scholarly focus is on American national politics, especially American political institutions. He has published a book on the presidency and public opinion, and several articles on other topics pertaining to politics in the United States. Recently, he has been focusing attention on voting and voting systems, especially ranked-choice voting.

University of Texas, Government, PhD.
Georgetown University, B.A. Government

  • The American Presidency
  • Public Opinion
  • US elections
  • US voting and elections
  • Ranked Choice Voting (Single Transferable Vote, Alternate Vote)


  • Out of Touch: The Presidency and Public Opinion. College Station, Texas: Texas A&M University Press, 2004.

Scholarly Articles

  • “Making wasted votes count: Turnout, transfers, and preferential voting in practice” (with James W. Endersby), Electoral Studies, Volume 33, March 2014.
  • “Perceptions of Presidential Greatness and the Flow of Evaluative Political Information From the Elite to the Informed to the Masses” (with James W. Endersby), Politics and Policy, Volume 31, Number 3, September 2003.
  • “Winning Friends and Influencing People” (with Kenneth Collier), White House Studies, Volume 2, Number 2, 2002.
  • “On Behalf of the President: Four Factors Affecting the Success of the Presidential Press Secretary.” Presidential Studies Quarterly, Volume XXVII, Number 2, Spring 1997.
  • “Effects of Constitutional and Political Controls on State Expenditures” (with James. W. Endersby), Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Volume 27, Number 1, Winter 1996.
  • “Tailgate Partisanship: A Survey of Political and Social Expression through Bumper Stickers,” (with James W. Endersby), Social Science Journal, Volume 33, No.3, July 1996.

miscellaneous op-ed publications

  • “Accurate results are worth waiting for,” op-ed, The Baltimore Sun, March 29, 2019.
  • “What kinds of political districts do Americans want?” op-ed, The Baltimore Sun, June 14, 2018.
  • No Spoilers,” op-ed, U.S. News and World Report, September 16, 2016.
  • “Why We Should Care about the Next Veep,” op-ed, The Baltimore Sun, October 26, 2015.