Category Archives: Polarization

Political parties are often too convenient an explanation

Teagan Goddard asked the question, can politics be “unbundled” from political parties? In other words, if there is a market where we can unbundle phone and internet service, why isn’t there a market to unbundle politics from parties? Hans Noel … Continue reading

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Obama wants filibuster reform. Would it help polarization?

Obama had some interesting things to say about polarization and the filibuster in his interview with Vox. When the question of if government can work in the midst of polarization was posed, Obama mentioned the filibuster: “Probably the one thing that … Continue reading

Posted in Filibuster, Legislative Politics, Legislative Procedure, Polarization | 1 Comment

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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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

Bergdahl, Benghazi, and Beyond: The Politics of Congressional Investigations

Is Bowe Bergdahl the new Benghazi? It would certainly seem so.  Several Republicans are calling for investigations into the now infamous prisoner swap.  Calls for impeachment exist.  And, of course, Hillary Clinton’s name has been linked to the Bergdahl scandal. … Continue reading

Posted in Congressional Absurdity, Legislative Politics, Polarization, Political Parties | Leave a comment

Why Americans “Tune Out” the State of the Union

With the State of the Union just a few hours away, the political science blog-o-sphere is all abuzz.  The essential reading list includes: Can presidential speeches sway public opinion?  Jonathan Bernstein weighs in here. Does the State of the Union … Continue reading

Posted in Legislative Politics, Polarization | 2 Comments