Dr. Todd Belt

Person image.

Dr. Todd Belt

Professor and Political Management Program Director


Todd L. Belt is the director of the Political Management program at The Graduate School of Political Management. Before joining GSPM, Dr. Belt was the John W. Kluge Fellow in Digital Studies at the Library of Congress and Professor of Political Science at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo.  His research and writing focuses on the mass media, public opinion, the presidency, campaigns and elections.  He is the co-author of four books: The Post-Heroic Presidency: Leveraged Leadership in an Age of Limits (Praeger, 2nd ed.), The Presidency and Domestic Policy: Comparing Leadership Styles, FDR to Obama (Paradigm, 2nd ed.), We Interrupt This Newscast: How to Improve Local News and Win Ratings, Too (Cambridge University Press), and Getting Involved: A Guide to Student Citizenship (Longman).  He has published over a dozen chapters in edited scholarly books and over two dozen scholarly articles.  Dr. Belt received his B.A. in Economics and Political Science and the University of California, Irvine, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Southern California.  He is the recipient of two teaching awards.

  • John W. Kluge Fellowship in Digital Studies, U.S. Library of Congress (2017)
  • University of Hawai'i Frances Davis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (2008)
  • Outstanding Professor Award, Political Science Students' Association, California State University, Northridge (2003)
  • University of Southern California College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences Dissertation Fellowship (2002)
  • Haynes Foundation Dissertation Fellowship (1999)
  • The Presidency
  • Campaigns and Elections
  • Mass Media and Politics
  • Political Humor
  • Public Opinion
  • Research Methods
  • Political Power and Practice (Capstone)


  • The Post-Heroic Presidency: Leveraged Leadership in an Age of Limits, with Michael A. Genovese (Praeger, 2016)
  • The Presidency and Domestic Policy: Comparing Leadership Styles, FDR to Obama, with Michael A. Genovese and William W. Lammers (Paradigm, 2014)
  • We Interrupt this Newscast...How to Improve Local News and Win Ratings, Too, with Tom Rosensteil, Marion Just, Atiba Pertilla, Walter Dean, and Dante Chinni (Cambridge University Press, 2007)
  • Getting Involved: A Guide to Student Citizenship, with Mark Kann, Gabriela Cowperthwaite, and Steven Horn (Allyn & Bacon, 1999)

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

  • “Humorous Political Images in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Campaign.” Electronic Journal of Communication 29 (1-2) (2019)
  • “Fragmenting Democratic Leadership in the State of Hawai‘i,” with Colin D. Moore and Tyler D. Hoffman, California Journal of Politics & Policy (2018) 
  • “New Leadership for Hawai‘i and Prospects for Policy Change,” with Colin D. Moore, California Journal of Politics & Policy (2017)
  • “Hawaii: A State in Political and Economic Transition,” California Journal of Politics & Policy (2016)
  • “How to Replace a Lion? Hawai‘i Prepares for Budget Life without Dan Inouye,” California Journal of Politics & Policy (2015)
  • “Social Integration and Political Ideologies of the Homeless,” with S. Colin Morrison, Journal of Social Research & Policy (2014)
  • “Righting the Canoe: The Slow Recovery and FY 2013 in Hawai‘i,” California Journal of Politics & Policy (2013)
  • “The 2008 Media Primary: Handicapping the Candidates in Newspapers, on TV, Cable and the Internet,” with Marion R. Just and Ann N. Crigler, The International Journal of Press/Politics (2012) 
  • “A New Day in Hawai‘i: The Lingle to Abercrombie Transition and the State Budget,” California Journal of Politics & Policy (2012) 
  • “Learning to Do Less with Less: The Hawai‘i State Budget for Fiscal Year 2011,” California Journal of Politics & Policy (2011) 
  • “The Local News Story: Is Quality a Choice?,” with Marion R. Just, Political Communication (2008)
  • “Newspaper Metaphors and Political Persuasion,” Political Linguistics (2007)
  • “Political Persuasion through Metaphorical Framing,” Political Linguistics (2007)   
  • “Disability Identity and Attitudes toward Cure in a Sample of Disabled Activists,” with Harlan Hahn, Journal of Health and Social Behavior (2004) 

Chapters in Books and Other Writings 

  • "Can We at Least All Laugh Together Now? Twitter and Online Political Humor during the 2016 Election.” In Christopher J. Galdieri, Jennifer C. Lucas and Tauna S. Sisco (eds). The Role of Twitter in 2016 US Election (Palgrave Pivot, 2018) 
  • “Negative Political Advertising.” In Christina Holtz-Bacha and Marion Just (eds.). The Handbook of Political Advertising (Routledge, 2017)
  • “Leading the Public/Following the Public: Leadership in a Democratic Context.” In Michael A. Genovese (ed.). The Quest for Leadership (Cambria Press, 2015) 
  • “Is Laughter the Best Medicine for Politics? Commercial Versus Noncommercial YouTube Videos.” In Victoria A. Farrar-Myers and Justin S. Vaughn (eds.). Controlling the Message: New Media in American Political Campaigns (NYU Press, 2015) 
  • “Viral Videos: Reinforcing Stereotypes of Female Candidates for President.” In Justin Vaughn and Lilly Goren (eds.). Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics (The University Press of Kentucky, 2012)
  • “Nixon, Watergate, and the Attempt to Sway Public Opinion.” In Michael A. Genovese and Iwan W. Morgan (eds.). Watergate Remembered: The Legacy for American Politics (Palgrave MacMillan, 2011)
  • “Nuclear Power.” In Quirk, Paul J. and William Cunion Governing America: Major Policies and Decisions of Federal, State, and Local Government (Facts on File, 2011)
  • “Voting Regulations,” “Propaganda,” “Protest,” “Civil Service System.”  In Genovese, Michael A. and Lori Cox Han. (eds.). The Encyclopedia of American Government and Civics (Facts on File, 2008)
  • “The Social and Political Consequences of the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor.” In Darity, William A., Jr. (ed.). International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences 2nd ed. (MacMillan Reference USA, 2008)
  • “Don’t Give up Hope: Emotions, Candidate Appraisals and Votes,” Marion R. Just and Ann N. Crigler. In W. Russell Neuman, George E. Marcus, Ann N. Crigler and Michael B. MacKuen (eds.). The Affect Effect: Dynamics of Emotion in Political Thinking and Behavior (University of Chicago Press, 2007) 
  • “The Three Faces of Negative Campaigning: The Democratic Implications of Attack Ads, Cynical News and Fear Arousing Messages,” with Ann N. Crigler and Marion R. Just. In David P. Redlawsk (ed.). Feeling Politics: Affect and Emotion in Political Information Processing (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006)
  • “Muslims.” In Ronald Gottesman (ed.). The Encyclopedia of Violence in America (Prentice Hall, 2000)
  • Ph. D., University of Southern California
  • M.A., University of Southern California
  • B.A., University of California, Irvine