Category Archives: Elections

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

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Vote Scores are hurting Vulnerable Senate Democrats

Several Senate Democrats are running their campaigns as far away from the President as possible. Democrats are defending six states that Mitt Romney won in 2012. Three Democratic incumbents find themselves in toss-up races in states Mitt Romney won by … Continue reading

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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

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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

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An Ideological Mapping of South Carolina’s Senate Candidates

When it comes to politics, South Carolina is full of intrigue. From Lee Atwater’s Southern Strategy and the 2000 Republican primary to Joe Wilson’s “You Lie!” and Stephen Colbert’s rally with Herman Cain, the Palmetto State routinely produces compelling political storylines. … Continue reading

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Why the Logic of “Throwing the Bums Out” is Wrong

As the election season ramps up, Americans offer dozens of claims about the “problems” facing our country and their purported “solutions.”  But while many of these claims are amenable to empirical scrutiny, few are ever studied. Spoiler alert: Americans are lousy … Continue reading

Posted in Elections, Legislative Politics, Polarization, Political Parties | 2 Comments

Are Career Politicians “Out of Touch” with Constituents?

On Tuesday, Republican voters in South Carolina head to the polls to elect a candidate for the U.S. Senate seat occupied by Lindsey Graham.  Graham, who’s held the position since 2002, is among the candidates.  If Graham wins, it will continue the … Continue reading

Posted in Elections, Electoral Institutions, Legislative Politics, Polarization, Political Parties, Primaries, Voting Behavior | 4 Comments