Political Science at University of Florida and a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from University of California, San Diego and B.S. in Economics from California Institute of Technology. He held a one-year post-doc fellowship at Harvard University and previously taught at Vanderbilt University; University of Illinois, Springfield; and George Mason University.
His research interests are in the areas of elections and methodology. His voter turnout research shows that turnout is not declining, the ineligible population is rising. He is a co-principle investigator on the Public Mapping Project, a project to encourage public participation in redistricting. He is co-author with Micah Altman and Jeff Gill of Numerical Issues in Statistical Computing for the Social Scientist and is co-editor with John Samples of The Marketplace of Democracy: Electoral Competition and American Politics. His research appears in several edited volumes and in scholarly journals including American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Public Opinion Quarterly, Political Behavior, Political Analysis, State Politics and Policy Quarterly, PS: Political Science and Politics, Social Science Computing Review, The Election Law Journal, and the law review journals of New York University Journal of Legislation and Public Policy, Duke J. Constitutional Law and Public Policy, University of Richmond Law Review, Case Western Law Review and the Georgetown Law Review.On the practical side of politics, Dr. McDonald has worked for the national exit poll organization, consulted to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, consulted to the Pew Center for the States, served on campaign staff for state legislative campaigns in California and Virginia, has worked for national polling firms, has been an expert witness for election lawsuits in Florida and Washington, and has worked as a redistricting consultant or expert witness in Alaska, Arizona, California, Georgia, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia. He has worked as a media consultant to ABC and NBC, and is frequently quoted in the media regarding United States elections. His opinion editorials have appeared in The Washington Post, The Politico, The Hill, The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, The American Prospect, and Roll Call.