Author Archives: Jordan Ragusa

Can the midterm outcome “solve” Washington’s problems? No. But it can make things worse.

An old adage is that lawmakers win reelection by “running against Washington.”  According to a recent Gallup poll, just 14% of Americans approve of Congress’s job performance. So while there’s something absurd about incumbents and major party candidates running against … Continue reading

Posted in Elections, Filibuster, Legislative Politics, Polarization | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Food Fight! Can Food Brands Predict Elections?

A few weeks ago on Meet the Press, Chuck Todd proposed that the fate of the Senate could come down to the distribution of Starbucks coffee shops (an elitist, urban chain) vs. Chick-fil-A restaurants (propagated by rural, social conservatives).  He … Continue reading

Posted in Elections, Political Behavior, Voting Behavior | Leave a comment

Don’t like the president’s “power grab” on ISIS? Blame Congress.

Pundits on both sides of the aisle are criticizing the Obama administration’s decision to bomb ISIS targets without seeking congressional approval.  For example, Andrew Sullivan compares Obama’s actions to those of his predecessor, George Bush, calling the president’s decision a … Continue reading

Posted in American Political Development, Legislative Politics, Separation of Powers, The Presidency | 1 Comment

Quantifying Bill’s Value to Hillary’s Campaign (Part 2)

In a recent post, I explored whether it’s possible to quantify Bill’s value to Hillary Clinton’s campaign (see here).  In other words: Do voters reward (and punish) Hillary Clinton based on their opinions of her husband?  If so, it could … Continue reading

Posted in Elections, Political Behavior, Political Parties, The Presidency | Leave a comment

Selection Bias and Voluntary Drug Testing Part II

In August of 2011, a post of mine addressed the policy of drug testing welfare recipients. At that time, much was made of the fact that Florida’s mandatory drug testing policy produced just a 2% failure rate.  From this statistic, Tampa Bay Online … Continue reading

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Quantifying Bill’s Value to Hillary’s Campaign (Part I)

In presidential elections, relationships matter.  For example, political scientists know that the relationship between economic conditions, the number of causalities in war, and the incumbent’s party affiliation explain the bulk of presidential election outcomes. In the 2016 presidential election, however, … Continue reading

Posted in Political Behavior, The Presidency | 2 Comments

Seven Numbers to Remember About the VA Compromise

According to multiple sources, Representative Jeff Miller (R-FL) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have reached a tentative agreement on a bill to overhaul the Veterans Affairs health care system.  A news conference is scheduled for 1:30 today. [edit: Confirmed.  Details … Continue reading

Posted in Bicameralism, Legislative Politics, Political Parties | 1 Comment