Elections and party politics across the US

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    Utah’s new kind of ranked-choice voting could hurt political minorities — and sometimes even the majority

Utah’s new kind of ranked-choice voting could hurt political minorities — and sometimes even the majority

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In 2019 two cities in Utah began using a type of ranked-choice voting for elections. And while ranked-choice voting is more effective in increasing minority representation than first past the post voting, Utah’s version may be harmful to minorities, argue Jack Santucci and Benjamin Reilly. As votes under this system can ‘cascade’ downwards from the first winner to others […]

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    Ten years on, the legacy of Citizens United still threatens representative democracy in the United States

Ten years on, the legacy of Citizens United still threatens representative democracy in the United States

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Ten years ago today the US Supreme Court decided that corporations were effectively citizens, and able to spend as much as they wanted to on political campaigns independent of candidates. William C.R. Horncastle explains the history of campaign finance which led to the seminal Citizens United ruling in 2010, and how the decision has since led to a massive […]

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    Trump’s crude anti-elitism is nothing new in the American story

Trump’s crude anti-elitism is nothing new in the American story

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It is not hard to find Americans (and non-Americans) fervently hoping for the end of the Trump presidency in 2020 whether via impeachment or a Democratic presidential election victory. Ron Pruessen writes that the appeal of removing Trump from office should be set against the backdrop of the darker impulses of American history and culture – traditions which Trump […]

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    What Kamala Harris supporters’ media consumption habits say about who they might support next in the Democratic presidential primary. 

What Kamala Harris supporters’ media consumption habits say about who they might support next in the Democratic presidential primary. 

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At the beginning of December, California Senator Kamala Harris ended her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. With the first primary contests just over a month away, Andreu Casas, Ericka Menchen-Trevino, Miriam Boon and Magdalena Wojcieszak investigate who her supporters are likely to vote for. Using new survey data, they find that The Daily Beast may have an important say as to which candidate […]

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    Why Senate Republican leadership may not run Donald Trump’s impeachment trial the way he likes. 

Why Senate Republican leadership may not run Donald Trump’s impeachment trial the way he likes. 

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With the US House of Representatives’ vote to impeach President Trump, the process now moves to the Senate for trial. LSE US Centre Director Professor Peter Trubowitz writes that while the President is keen to hear from many witnesses in his trial, Senate Republicans may want to get things over with quickly, with little evidence taking.
President Trump says that “poll numbers have […]

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    The Senate as an Impeachment Court should not be the Senate as usual

The Senate as an Impeachment Court should not be the Senate as usual

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This week the US House of Representatives will likely vote to impeach President Trump. If and when this vote passes, then the US Senate will then be the venue for the trial which will determine whether the President should be removed from office or not. Jeffrey K. Tulis reminds us that in a Senate impeachment trial, that body effectively […]

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    The Ballpark Podcast Extra Innings: Donald Trump and the Roots of Republican Extremism in the US, an interview with Professor Theda Skocpol

The Ballpark Podcast Extra Innings: Donald Trump and the Roots of Republican Extremism in the US, an interview with Professor Theda Skocpol

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In this Extra Inning of the Ballpark, your host Chris Gilson of the LSE US Centre talks with Professor Theda Skocpol about her recent research on the Republican Party. Professor Skocpol outlines the shift that the Republican Party has undergone in the last decade, driven by two distinct currents of right-wing extremism: ethno-nationalist resentment, and ultra-free-market fundamentalism. They also […]

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    The directions we can expect from the US 2020 Democratic presidential nomination race.

The directions we can expect from the US 2020 Democratic presidential nomination race.

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While impeachment is the talk of the town in Washington DC, we are only months away from the first presidential primary contests. Elizabeth Freund Larus and Scott W. Fischer write that, on the Democratic side, the current field is at a historically large 17 candidates, with two late entrants joining the field in recent weeks. They comment that the […]

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    Book Review: The Great Broadening: How Vast Expansion of the Policymaking Agenda Transformed American Politics by Bryan D. Jones, Sean M. Theriault and Michelle Whyman

Book Review: The Great Broadening: How Vast Expansion of the Policymaking Agenda Transformed American Politics by Bryan D. Jones, Sean M. Theriault and Michelle Whyman

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In The Great Broadening: How Vast Expansion of the Policymaking Agenda Transformed American Politics, Bryan D. Jones, Sean M. Theriault and Michelle Whyman set out to prove that the period from the 1960s to the 1980s witnessed a ‘Great Broadening’ of the US government’s involvement in areas that had previously been off limits. Mining rich sources of data to provide insight […]

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    How a procedure aimed at overcoming polarization in the Senate may have made it worse.

How a procedure aimed at overcoming polarization in the Senate may have made it worse.

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Despite its design as a deliberative body, the United States Senate has become a place of legislative gridlock, with party leaders often resorting to procedural moves to pass legislation. In new research, Neil S. Chaturvedi looks at the use of the ‘filling the amendment tree’ tactic in recent Congressional sessions. He writes that while the tactic, the use of […]

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