Benjamin R. Knoll

Assistant Professor of Politics, Centre College


Contact Information

Current Research

Boyle County Exit Poll

Curriculum Vitae

I am an Assistant Professor in the Politics Program at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. I teach undergraduate courses on American political behavior and institutions, as well as introductory survey courses.

My research specialization is American public opinion and voting behavior. Specifically, I study race and politics and religion and politics.

I maintain a blog about U.S. and Kentucky politics at

Twitter: @benjaminknoll28

In the news...

I recently authored a series of blog posts on presidential debates and American politics for The Huffington Post in conjunction with the 2012 vice presidential debate at Centre College throughout 2012. They can be found here:, The Advocate-Messenger Online: "Centre pollsters divine outcomes of area elections, by David Brock, November 10, 2012.

It was a couple of hours before the polls closed on Tuesday afternoon, but some of the results in the area’s most intriguing races were already known to a class of Centre College students and their professor. For the second time in as many years, a class of Centre government professor Benjamin Knoll's students were fanned out across the area conducting exit survey's at Boyle County precincts. The numbers they got from the first 500 or so of a total 1,461 voters (about 1,300 from Danville), predicted the finish of both the 54th District State Representative race and the outcome of the Danville City Commission race, including their order based on vote total.

To read the full article, click here., The Advocate-Messenger Online: "Q&A: Political experts chime in on vice-presidential contenders, by David Brock, May 22, 2012.

Q: Do vice-presidential candidates make any significant difference as far as swaying voters? ... Knoll: Yes, but to a much smaller degree than people often think. Decades of political science research has shown that the ultimate outcome of presidential elections is overwhelmingly driven by only a few primary factors, including things like incumbent popularity, economic growth, and the presence of international conflict. A vice-presidential candidate will undoubtedly sway a few voters here and there, but by and large this isn’t the determining factor in which side ultimately wins a presidential election.

To read the full article, click here.

Personal education.
Extraordinary success.

"... the most important point of excellence which any form of government can possess is to promote the virtue and intelligence of the people themselves."
- John Stuart Mill

"But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?"
- James Madison

"What is the meaning of government? An institution to make people do their duty. A government leaving it to a man to do his duty, or not, as he pleases, would be a new species of government, or rather no government at all."
- James Madison

Personal education.
Extraordinary success.