Amy Fried

John Mitchell Nickerson Professor of Political Science, University of Maine
Chapter Member: Maine SSN

About Amy

Fried teaches and writes about citizens’ political involvements and values, and is currently examining how conservatives promoted distrust in government in the Tea Party age. Several works examine how polling developed and analyze their uses in U.S. politics and society. Fried is a member of the advisory committee for the Maine Community Foundation’s Policy Scholars Program, and works with students researching state-level public policy. As Rising Tide Policy Advocate, a position supported by a National Science Foundation grant, Fried focuses on changing and implementing University of Maine policies on career-life balance and fair and appropriate evaluation.

No Jargon Podcast

In the News

"Conservatives Have Long Stoked Distrust in Government — And Now We’re Paying for It," Amy Fried (with Douglas B. Harris), Perspective, The Washington Post, October 12, 2021.
Amy Fried quoted on new book “At War With Government: How Conservatives Weaponized Distrust from Goldwater to Trump.” by Noah Berlatsky, "COVID Vaccine Resistance and the Capitol Riot Stem From the GOP Long Weaponizing Distrust" Think, August 3, 2021.
Amy Fried's research on women in Maine legislature discussed by Bonnie Washuk, "Women in Maine Politics: ‘They Ran. They Won. And Now There’s Even More.’," Sun Journal, March 2, 2019.
Amy Fried's research on Maine elections discussed by Steve Collins, "Nation’s Eyes on Maine’s 2nd District," Sun Journal, October 6, 2018.
Amy Fried's research on Collins's vote discussed by Dylan Scott, "Susan Collins, One of the Most Important Swing Votes on Kavanaugh’s Nomination, Explained," Vox, October 1, 2018.
Amy Fried's research on public opinion discussed by Michael Hobbes, "The Selling Of Judge Brett Kavanaugh," Huffington Post, July 21, 2018.
Amy Fried's research on Court nominations discussed by Michael Mathes, "Two Republican Women Could Sink Trump's US Supreme Court Pick," AFP, July 11, 2018.
"As Maine Goes ... So Goes the Way Americans Vote?," Amy Fried (with Robert W. Glover), The American Prospect, June 22, 2018.
Amy Fried quoted by Colin Woodard, "How Ranked-Choice Voting Effort Became a Partisan Flash Point" Sun Journal, April 7, 2018.
"Why Republican Tax Cuts Aren't What Americans Want," Amy Fried, Bangor Daily News, December 12, 2017.
Amy Fried quoted on defending Obamacare by Gabrielle Gurley, "How Maine’s Medicaid Expansion Campaign Got to Yes" The American Prospect, November 13, 2017.
Amy Fried quoted on expanding Medicaid by Mara Lee, "Maine Residents Hope Ballot Box Will Do What Legislators Couldn't: Expand Medicaid to More Low-Income Adults" Modern Healthcare, September 9, 2017.
"How Maine People Moved Senator Collins and Stopped Trumpcare," Amy Fried, Bangor Daily News, August 8, 2017.
"Creating Obamacare Wasn’t a Picnic. Repeal Can’t be, Either.," Amy Fried, Bangor Daily News, January 10, 2017.
Guest to discuss conservative support in Maine on Maine Public Radio, Amy Fried, November 9, 2016.
Guest to discuss the marijuana legalization campaign on Maine Public Radio, Amy Fried, September 26, 2016.
Amy Fried quoted on disaffected Democrats by Bonnie Washuk, "Johnson Will Draw Votes from Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump" Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal, August 18, 2016.
Guest to discuss the Democratic National Convention on Maine Public Radio, Amy Fried, August 1, 2016.
J. Celeste Lay quoted on support for Clinton v. Sanders by Doug Johnson Hatlem, "Hillary Clinton vs Bernie Sanders: In-depth Report on Exit Polling and Election Fraud Allegations" Counter Punch, May 11, 2016.
"The End of the Presidential Nomination Fights is Closer than You Think," Amy Fried, Bangor Daily News, February 23, 2016.
Guest to discuss how polling works on Maine National Public Radio, Amy Fried, October 26, 2015.
"Bipartisanship Breaks Out over Clean Elections," Amy Fried, Bangor Daily News, October 20, 2015.
"Fewer than a Third Approve of LePage. Does That Matter?," Amy Fried, Bangor Daily News, October 16, 2015.
Amy Fried quoted on limiting the financial assets of welfare recipients by Roberto A. Ferdman, "Maine Has Found a Stunning Way to Keep the Poor in Poverty" The Washington Post, October 1, 2015.
Amy Fried quoted on Hillary's campaign strategy by Joe Lawler, "Hillary Clinton Bringing Small-scale Campaign Event to Portland" Portland Press Herlad, September 17, 2015.
Amy Fried quoted on the Tea Party by Katharine Q. Seelye, "Maine Court Considers Vetoes by Gov. LePage" New York Times, July 31, 2015.
"How Maine Showed Marriage Means the Same to Everyone," Amy Fried (with Robert W. Glover), Bangor Daily News, July 2, 2015.
Amy Fried quoted on Maine's politics by Katharine Q. Seelye, "Combative Maine Governor Becomes a Party of One" New York Times, June 28, 2015.
"How Straight People Finally Realized That Gay Couples ‘Respect’ Marriage," Amy Fried (with Robert W. Glover), Talking Points Memo, June 26, 2015.
"How a Maine Tea Party Battle Predicted ObamaCare's Future," Amy Fried, Talking Points Memo Café, June 25, 2015.
Amy Fried quoted on midterm elections by Steve Fuller, "Political Pundit Provides Post-Election Analysis to Local Democrats" The Ellsworth American, November 26, 2014.
"How LePage Won a Second Term," Amy Fried, Bangor Daily News, November 5, 2014.
Amy Fried quoted on the 2014 gubernatorial elections by Paul Demko, "What Tuesday's Elections Mean for Healthcare" Modern Healthcare, November 3, 2014.
Amy Fried quoted on the dynamics of the Maine gubernatorial race by Katharine Q. Seelye, "Outspoken Governor Tries to Squeak By in 3-Way Maine Race" New York Times, October 18, 2014.
"Seven Questions and Answers about Today’s ObamaCare Decisions," Amy Fried, Pollways, Bangor Daily News, July 22, 2014.
"Fiddling with Figures Doesn’t Add Jobs to Maine’s Economy," Amy Fried, Pollways, Bangor Daily News, July 8, 2014.
"Medicaid Expansion is Very Popular, Except When Lied About," Amy Fried, Pollways, Bangor Daily News, March 26, 2014.
"The Affordable Care Act - Women's History in the Making," Amy Fried (with Representative Jan Schakowsky), Huffington Post, March 23, 2014.
"No, Kristof, Academics Aren't Cloistered Like 'Medieval Monks'," Amy Fried (with Luisa S. Deprez), Talking Points Memo, February 17, 2014.
"Seven Reasons Why Democrats Won't Delay the Affordable Care Act," Amy Fried, Pollways, Bangor Daily News, September 29, 2013.
"Who Needs Health Insurance? How Does That Work, Anyway?," Amy Fried, Pollways, Bangor Daily News, August 13, 2013.
"When Sick, You Need More Than Family, Community Support," Amy Fried, Pollways, Bangor Daily News, March 26, 2013.
"(Some) Republicans Can't Believe Their Own Eyes as Obama Wins Again," Amy Fried, Bangor Daily News, November 7, 2012.
"How ObamaCare is Pressuring Romney," Amy Fried, Pollways, Bangor Daily News, September 10, 2012.
"It's Paul Ryan's Party Now," Amy Fried, Pollways, Bangor Daily News, August 14, 2012.
Amy Fried quoted on the negative effects of Paul Ryan's budget plan, "Paul Ryan's Relatives Didn't Live Past 60, Why Should Yours?" The Huffington Post, August 11, 2012.
Amy Fried quoted on 2012 elections - Maine Senate Washington Post, June 11, 2012.
"What Sort of Governor Would Say This?," Amy Fried, Bangor Daily News, June 6, 2012.
"Costly Cuts," Amy Fried, Bangor Daily News, May 22, 2012.
Regular contributions by Amy Fried to Politico Arena.


"Ranked Choice Voting in Maine from the Perspective of Local Election Officials" (with Robert W. Glover, Joseph Anthony, and David C. Kimball). Election Law Journal (2021).

Examines the role of local election officials (LEO) as implementers of state election reforms. Derives that data comes from a survey of municipal clerks in Maine conducted after the 2018 general election, as well as interviews with many local officials, garnering their assessments of ranked choice voting (RCV).

"The Strategic Promotion of Distrust in Government in the Tea Party Age" (with Douglas B. Harris). The Forum 13, no. 3 (2015): 417–443.
Argues that distrust in government is not an inadvertent byproduct of economic change, scandals, and cultural and identity politics, but rather grows out of strategic efforts to promote and harness it for political purposes.
"‘Negro Morale,’ the Japanese-American Internment, and U.S. Government Opinion Studies during World War II," American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, September 2011.
Argues that racial bigotry influenced public policy during the New Deal and Second World War. Examines how government studies of African-American shipyard workers, farmers and draftees acknowledged discrimination, yet the suggested means of improving “Negro morale” frequently focused on public relations. Argues that post-Pearl Harbor responses to Japanese-Americans were driven by not just national security concerns, but also bias, hysteria, and economic jealousy.
"Pathways to Polling: Crisis, Cooperation, and the Making of Public Opinion Professions " (Routledge Press, 2011).
Relationships among market researchers, candidates, political parties, media audience analysts, government officials, academics, and journalists helped polling to take hold (even after the fiasco of mistakenly predicting that Dewey would beat Truman in 1948). Their cooperation and competition shaped how polls are used today.
"Maine’s Political Warriors: Senators Snowe and Collins, Congressional Moderates in a Partisan Era" (with Douglas B. Harris). New England Journal of Political Science 4, no. 1 (2010): 95-129.

Argues that American politics has become more polarized, yet through the first two years of the Obama presidency, Maine’s U.S. Senators took a different path. Discusses how the traditions of this small state provide a model for more substantive and civil politics.

"The Personalization of Collective Memory: The Smithsonian’s September 11 Exhibit" Political Communication 23, no. 4 (2006): 387-406.
Shows how hard it was to go beyond personal and nationalistic themes to probe what led up to and followed the terrorist attacks of September 11.
"On Red Capes and Charging Bulls: How and Why Conservative Politicians and Interest Groups Promoted Public Anger" (with Douglas B. Harris), in What is It about Government that Americans Dislike?, edited by John R. Hibbing and Elizabeth Theiss-Morse (Cambridge University Press, 2001), 157-174.
Distrust in government has been cultivated by Republicans to help them win office, achieve their policy goals, give power to the institutions they control, and glean support for party and conservative movement organizations.
"Muffled Echoes: Oliver North and the Politics of Public Opinion" (Columbia University Press, 1997).
Shows how public opinion is used as a political resource and often interpreted in self-serving ways. What the public thinks can be different from what the media and political figures say the public thinks.