Elections and party politics across the US

Why it’s all to play for in the 2018 midterm elections

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This year’s midterm elections are seen by many as the most important non-presidential contest in many years. But one pressing concern remains: following Donald Trump’s shock 2016 election victory, is it still possible to trust the polls? Ronald Ranta argues that, but for a few Midwestern states, the 2016 polls were really not all that inaccurate. This time around, […]

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    In Texas, Beto O’Rourke is staying positive in his bid to unseat Senator Ted Cruz

In Texas, Beto O’Rourke is staying positive in his bid to unseat Senator Ted Cruz

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No Democrat has been elected to state-wide office in Texas since 1994. And yet, there are glimmers of hope for Democrat Beto O’Rourke who is challenging Republican Ted Cruz for his US Senate Seat in the Lone Star State. Heather K. Evans writes that surprisingly for a candidate challenging an incumbent, O’Rourke has released no attack ads or critical […]

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    New evidence shows that letting people vote early benefits Republicans while Election-Day Registration helps Democrats

New evidence shows that letting people vote early benefits Republicans while Election-Day Registration helps Democrats

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While Republicans tend to make it harder for people to vote through initiatives such as Voter ID requirements, Democrats tend to be in favor of measures which make voting easier, such as early and Election-Day registration. But do both measures advocated by Democrats actually have an impact on turnout? Barry Burden, David Canon, Ken Mayer and Donald Moynihan have […]

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    Why we should expect to see more rule-breaking in Congress from now on

Why we should expect to see more rule-breaking in Congress from now on

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Earlier this month, during Senate Judiciary Committee hearings to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey released uncleared committee documents. Brian Alexander writes that Booker’s tactics, in combination with the 2016 House sit-in over gun violence show that procedural disobedience is an effective legislative tactic for the minority party that leads to […]

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    (Another) Year of the Woman? New evidence shows that women candidates are favored ahead of the 2018 midterms

(Another) Year of the Woman? New evidence shows that women candidates are favored ahead of the 2018 midterms

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This year’s midterm election cycle has seen an unprecedented number of women candidates running for Congress. But will this mean that 2018 will be a new “Year of the Woman”? Using a nationally diverse sample, Lindsey Cormack and Kristyn Karl find that –contradicting previous research – both women and men prefer female politicians, perceiving them to be more […]

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    National polarization means that it no longer pays for local candidates to appeal to all voters

National polarization means that it no longer pays for local candidates to appeal to all voters

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In theory, political candidates who have the widest appeal are the most likely to win elections. But recent decades have shown us that this is decidedly not the case: polarization now means that quite extreme candidates win elections in many districts. Mattias Polborn uses a new model of legislative elections and finds that extreme candidates are likely to prevail […]

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    Candidates in the upcoming 2018 US House election should communicate consistent and clear policy positions to maximize votes

Candidates in the upcoming 2018 US House election should communicate consistent and clear policy positions to maximize votes

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Communication strategies matter in elections. Candidates can be ambiguous in how they speak to the public by avoiding clear positions and strong statements or they can communicate by taking clear and consistent stances on issues.  How do voters respond to these different strategies? In new research Christine Cahill and Walter J. Stone find that voters tend to feel more […]

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    Term limits encourage more women to run for office in US State Legislatures

Term limits encourage more women to run for office in US State Legislatures

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If women run for office, they are just as likely to win an election as men. And yet, only 25 percent of state legislators are women. Samantha Pettey looks at what makes it more likely that women will run for office. She finds that while more women are running for office at the state level, those states with term […]

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    The continued importance of the ‘Bros Caucus’ underscores the need for more Women’s Caucuses

The continued importance of the ‘Bros Caucus’ underscores the need for more Women’s Caucuses

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California US House Representative, Republican Duncan Hunter has been in the news this week, following extensive allegations of misuse of campaign funds. Anna Mitchell Mahoney writes that cases like Hunter’s illustrate that a great deal of political relationship-building is based on gatherings where women are often unwelcome. She argues that by creating a specific space for women, women’s caucuses […]

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    John McCain’s passing reminds us that death has always been an important part of life in the US Senate

John McCain’s passing reminds us that death has always been an important part of life in the US Senate

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This past weekend saw the death of John McCain, who had held his Arizona US Senate seat for more than three decades. Hanna K. Brant, L. Marvin Overby, and Theodore J. Masthay write that since 1919, more than 135 Senators have died whilst in office. They write that, though the frequency of these deaths has fallen dramatically since the […]

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