Tag Archives: voting and elections

Ready to Lead on Day One: Predicting Presidential Greatness from Political Experience

Turns out that you can’t predict presidential greatness from political experience, at least not very well. We all remember Hillary Clinton’s ad–“It’s 3:00am and your children are asleep.” She wanted voters to believe that her long political experience made her “ready to lead on day one,” unlike that untested other guy, Barack Obama. More generally, […]

Are Governors Responsible for the State Economy? Partisanship, Blame, and Divided Federalism

When there is an easy chance for people to pass the blame onto a party they don’t like, they’ll take it Tooting my own horn: Here’s the university’s press release for my recent article. It gets things mostly right. A down economy usually spells trouble for incumbents, but a new study shows that six Republicans […]

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 […]

Personality and Political Attitudes: Relationships across Issue Domains and Political Contexts

Conservatives are hard-working, organized, closed-minded, and emotionally stable. Liberals are lazy, disorganized, open-minded, and neurotic. Let’s see how the punditocracy spins that one. Yesterday I wrote about Mondak et al.’s recent APSR article about personality and political participation. On the very next page of the same issue of APSR, you’ll find a closely related article […]