Elections and party politics across the US

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    For many ideologues in Congress, voting against their party when they are in power may be a sound electoral strategy.

For many ideologues in Congress, voting against their party when they are in power may be a sound electoral strategy.

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In recent years, legislators on both sides of the aisle in Congress have often voted against their own party’s legislation when they are in power. But why are some members of Congress disloyal when they have the chance to get things done? Jonathan Slapin and Justin Kirkland argue that this behaviour is a form of grandstanding whereby ideological extremists […]

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    Lobbying is growing in the US – more information may be the best regulation.

Lobbying is growing in the US – more information may be the best regulation.

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Lobbying in US politics is not new, but recent revelations over lobbying by Trump election campaign members on behalf of foreign governments and others has brought the practice into renewed focus. Thomas T. Holyoke and Timothy M. LaPira give an overview of a special issue of the journal, Interest Groups & Advocacy, which outlines how lobbying is growing, how […]

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    Bicentenary celebrations of Latin American independence obscure the complex realities of the birth of nations

Bicentenary celebrations of Latin American independence obscure the complex realities of the birth of nations

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The inevitable human complexities of history should not be seen as skeletons in our collective closet. They bring us closer to a real understanding of how we became the people and peoples that we are today, writes Gregorio Alonso.

All nations draw legitimacy and status from invented traditions, and Latin American republics are no exception. For over a decade, a host of conferences, […]

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    Why Utah’s Senate seat may be Mitt Romney’s to take in 2018

Why Utah’s Senate seat may be Mitt Romney’s to take in 2018

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Other than a brief resurgence in last year’s presidential election, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has largely stayed out of the political limelight following his 2012 presidential election defeat. That may all be about to change if long-time incumbent Utah Senator Orrin Hatch chooses to retire. Damon Cann writes that if Hatch were to retire – as many Utahans […]

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    Challenging people’s political views and values makes them think even harder and produce better arguments to defend themselves

Challenging people’s political views and values makes them think even harder and produce better arguments to defend themselves

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To many, American politics and society seem more polarized than they have ever been. Why, then do people cling so tightly to their values, identities and attitudes? In new research, Cengiz Erisen, David P. Redlawsk,  and Elif Erisen looked at the effects of presenting people with information that conflicted or refuted their own ideologies. They found that far from […]

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    Alabama’s Senate runoff election mirrors the national struggle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party

Alabama’s Senate runoff election mirrors the national struggle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party

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Republican voters will go to the polls on September 26th to select the state’s US Senator to replace Jeff Sessions, who President Trump elevated to the position of US Attorney General. Andrée E. Reeves gives an overview of the runoff race, which pits former state Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore against former Attorney General (and now incumbent US Senator) […]

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    How California could be the launching pad for the Democrats’ 2020 presidential nominee

How California could be the launching pad for the Democrats’ 2020 presidential nominee

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The California legislature recently passed a bill which would move its presidential primary from June to March. Renée Van Vechten looks at the arguments that the move may make the Golden State the kingmaker for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, and highlights two potential Democratic presidential candidates from California: junior US Senator Kamala Harris and Los Angeles Mayor […]

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    Wars can strengthen U.S. Presidents’ policy gains in Congress, but as casualties rise, they can become a liability

Wars can strengthen U.S. Presidents’ policy gains in Congress, but as casualties rise, they can become a liability

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Wars divert public attention to foreign affairs. While this provides the president with leverage in his encounters with Congress, public perception of the war can turn the tide against him. Research by Susanne Schorpp and Charles Finocchiaro shows that the president’s gains from public attention to foreign affairs are mediated by the human cost of war. As casualties increase, the public’s position will shift from support to blame, allowing Members of Congress […]

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    How are votes for Obamacare repeal going to cost House Republicans?

How are votes for Obamacare repeal going to cost House Republicans?

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Republicans trying to pass an Obamacare repeal bill found themselves supporting a historically unpopular bill, and are paying a steep electoral price despite the collapse of the effort. Looking at the results of a new experiment, Dan Cassino finds that support for the bill is costing one powerful incumbent 11 points in a race against an unnamed Democrat.

After the […]

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    The Ballpark podcast Episode 2.5: The future of American progressivism

The Ballpark podcast Episode 2.5: The future of American progressivism

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After a number of disappointing elections, many people have been left asking “Who is the Democratic Party?” In this episode, we’ll not only take on that question, but we’ll take a step further. Who will the Democratic Party be going forward? Will there even be a Democratic Party going forward?

This episode features Thomas Frank, author and former columnist for […]

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