Tag Archives: american journal of political science

The Party Faithful: Partisan Images, Candidate Religion, and the Electoral Impact of Party Identification

Voters can use candidates’ religion to infer their partisanship, but only for certain religions. American voters tend to vote for their party’s candidate. That’s not news. The question is, why? Political science has usually relied on three answers. The psychological approach says that voters support their party because of a deep, emotional, psychological attachment to […]

The Electoral Costs of Party Loyalty in Congress

Voters dislike partisans more than ideologues. Yesterday, I wrote about Ansolabehere and Jones’s article in AJPS showing that voters really do hold members of Congress accountable for their voting record in Congress. On the very next page in AJPS, we find another article on the same theme. But Carson et al. want to change the […]

Constituents’ Responses to Congressional Roll-Call Voting

Voters really do hold members of Congress accountable for their voting records. Turns out that democracy works, at least when it comes to voters holding members of Congress accountable for their voting record. For accountability to happen, we need to see three things: (1) Voters need to have specific opinions on specific issues before Congress; […]

The World Wide Web and the U.S. Political News Market

People who visit online news and political sites are more politically extreme. No serious observer of American politics would be surprised if you made two basic claims: (1) Small-circulation media outlets (websites, cable channels, independent newspapers) can be far more ideologically extreme than large-circulation outlets (network news) that need to appeal to a large audience […]

Partisan Polarization and Congressional Accountability in House Elections

It may have been true 20, 30, or 40 years ago that members of Congress could evade accountability for Congress’s overall activities, but rising polarization has enabled voters to punish or reward Representatives for Congress’s collective performance. Shortly before the 2008 Congressional elections, only 36% believed that most members of Congress deserved reelection. These numbers […]

The Declining Talent Pool of Government

The “benchwarmer” dilemma: You want your best 11 players on the field, but in order to motivate your players, you’ve got to threaten to replace them with an inferior player from the bench. Imagine you’re a soccer coach. You’ve got 14 players on your roster, 11 of whom are on the field at any given […]

Using Experiments to Estimate the Effects of Education on Voter Turnout

Education does, indeed, have a robust causal effect on voter turnout. Suppose you’re in a room full of people and you want to know which of them are most likely to be active voters, but you’re not allowed to ask them about their political activity. The best question you can ask them: How many years […]

Partisanship, Political Control, and Economic Assessments

“For many Americans, there is no rational basis to suppose that one party is better than the other at managing the economy.” If that’s true, is our entire democratic process a farce? We know that partisanship influences economic evaluations. In survey after survey, we have found that Republicans and Democrats rate the economy differently, yet […]