Elections and party politics across the US

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    In the 2016 presidential primaries, party nomination rules benefited Donald Trump and hurt Bernie Sanders

In the 2016 presidential primaries, party nomination rules benefited Donald Trump and hurt Bernie Sanders

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During the 2016 presidential primary season, both candidates Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders expressed concern that their party’s nomination process hurt their chances of receiving their party’s presidential nod. But to what extent do party nomination rules help or hinder candidates? In new research which examines how representative state delegations to the 2016 nominating conventions were, James King finds […]

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    Even if they don’t win back Congress in the midterms, the Democrats may still be able to set the agenda  

Even if they don’t win back Congress in the midterms, the Democrats may still be able to set the agenda  

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Ahead of presidential elections, the Republican and Democratic parties signal their agendas by releasing policy platforms. But do parties’ promises to focus on one issue over others remain credible following the election? In new research, E.J. Fagan examines party platforms and Congressional roll call votes, and finds that the party which holds the White House does keep its agenda-setting […]

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    Women voted for Donald Trump for the same reasons men did – racism and sexism

Women voted for Donald Trump for the same reasons men did – racism and sexism

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On Election Day 2016, 40 percent of American women voted for Donald Trump, despite his well-known history of sexual misconduct. In new research, Mark Setzler and Alixandra B. Yanus examine the attitudes of Trump’s women voters to try to understand more about why so many voted for the now-President. They find that the attitudes of Trump’s women voters were […]

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    Spending by outside groups tends to support a political party’s goals, not push more extreme candidates

Spending by outside groups tends to support a political party’s goals, not push more extreme candidates

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Since 2010’s Citizen’s United Supreme Court decision, there has been increasing concern over the role of spending on elections from groups outside of the Republican and Democratic parties. There has been particular focus on outside spending on more extreme candidates, which could help to increase political polarization. In new research, Robin Kolodny and Diana Dwyre map the organizations […]

  • Permalink Washington, DC, July 29, 2009 -- NLE'09 in the FEMA Sim Center.  FEMA/Bill KoplitzGallery

    Another reason Democrats will have difficulty retaking the US Senate this fall: Republicans’ historical advantage in holding open seats

Another reason Democrats will have difficulty retaking the US Senate this fall: Republicans’ historical advantage in holding open seats

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This fall, the Democrats face a challenging US Senate map, defending 25 seats to the GOP’s nine. For some on the left, one ray of hope has been the retirement of four Republican Senators, leading to open seat contests. In new research, Hanna K. Brant, L. Marvin Overby, and Theodore J. Masthay suggest that this optimism may be misplaced. […]

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    The Alternative Vote can increase representation of women and people of color in US elections

The Alternative Vote can increase representation of women and people of color in US elections

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Across both the states and Congress, those who are elected often do not reflect the age, gender and ethnicity of their constituents. For many, the way that the US elects its politicians is now no longer fit for purpose. In new research, Sarah John looks at local election results in several California jurisdictions before and after the adoption of […]

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    We should look to the Golden State for electoral innovations to increase political representation

We should look to the Golden State for electoral innovations to increase political representation

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Since 2010, the California State Assembly has seen white representation fall and an increase in the number of African American, Asian American and Latino legislators. Sara Sadhwani writes that much of this change may be down to the Golden State’s adoption of the top-two primary system in 2012, which allows candidates to compete in an open primary with the […]

Breaking the populism ‘doom loop’

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Is liberal democracy under threat from the rise of populist politics? John Fitzgibbon argues that with citizens voting in increasing numbers for populist parties, a concerted effort to make the value of liberal democracy clear to citizens and to involve them more closely in the policy-making process is sorely needed.

According to many commentators, we are now in a crisis of […]

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    Constituents have minimal influence on their legislators’ policy priorities

Constituents have minimal influence on their legislators’ policy priorities

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The most basic function of elected politicians is to represent the priorities of their constituents. But to what extent do legislators’ policy priorities actually reflect what people want? In new research, Philip D. Waggoner uses states’ industrial patterns in combination with survey research to model constituents’ preferences and then places these against legislators’ bill sponsorship. He finds that legislators […]

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    Book Review: The Presidency of Barack Obama: A First Historical Assessment edited by Julian Zelizer

Book Review: The Presidency of Barack Obama: A First Historical Assessment edited by Julian Zelizer

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With The Presidency of Barack Obama: A First Historical Assessment, editor Julian Zelizer brings together contributors to reflect on different aspects of the Obama administration, from social, economic and legal issues to foreign policy. Jonny Hall explores how the volume grapples particularly with the themes (and frustrations) of Tea Party obstructionism, Obama’s failure to live up to the expectations established by his 2008 campaign […]

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