Elections and party politics across the US

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    Unfolding evidence of election fraud in North Carolina’s 9th District shows the urgent need for reform of state election systems

Unfolding evidence of election fraud in North Carolina’s 9th District shows the urgent need for reform of state election systems

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This week an evidentiary hearing began in the North Carolina state capital over allegations of election fraud in last November’s US House election for the 9th District. Mary Jo Shepherd writes that the apparent ‘harvesting’ of absentee by mail ballots by a Republican campaign consultant may have been spotted and dealt with had the election directors in the local […]

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    In politics, dysfunctionality has always been the American way

In politics, dysfunctionality has always been the American way

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“Dysfunctional” has become an inescapable adjective in discussions of American government in the Age of Trump – for good reason. Ron Pruessen suggests that dysfunctionality has deep roots in American history. As both an operational reality and an often-unappreciated intellectual current, it has staying power that will still be in play when a 46th president (hopefully sooner, perhaps later) […]

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    Why the US’ complex federal system will blunt the worst aspects of Trump’s transgressive presidency.

Why the US’ complex federal system will blunt the worst aspects of Trump’s transgressive presidency.

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For 230 years federalism, as set out in the Constitution, has been the bedrock of the US system of government. John Kincaid writes that American federalism has evolved to become a mixture of dual powers and responsibilities, and cooperation and coercion between the federal government and the states. He argues that it is these facets of federalism which are […]

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    Paradoxically, stricter lobbying laws can actually hurt transparency. Here’s how to improve them.

Paradoxically, stricter lobbying laws can actually hurt transparency. Here’s how to improve them.

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Like it or not, lobbying has become a major part of the American political process. And while laws have been passed by both the federal and state governments to regulate lobbyists’ activities, James Strickland finds that in some cases, they may actually hurt transparency. He writes that US states with more regulations on lobbyists see lower registration rates than […]

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    The coalition which helped Trump win has not helped him to advance his policy agenda as president – and Democrats should take note.

The coalition which helped Trump win has not helped him to advance his policy agenda as president – and Democrats should take note.

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Despite his claims to the contrary, the first two years of Donald Trump’s presidency has been one of legislative failure, as the recent government shutdown illustrated. Zachary Albert and David Barney argue that one reason for Trump’s difficulties in achieving his Congressional agenda has been his weak coalition of support within his own party. While Trump was able to […]

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    Why declaring a national emergency to build a border wall could set Donald Trump on the road to impeachment

Why declaring a national emergency to build a border wall could set Donald Trump on the road to impeachment

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Although some critics have floated the idea of impeaching Donald Trump, Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives has so far muted such calls. Some analysis, however, suggests that if Trump declares a national emergency to build a border wall with Mexico, it would constitute an impeachable offense. Thomas Gift examines how conversations over impeachment could change if Trump […]

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    In the South, it’s not just state politicians who work against federal policies. It’s the bureaucrats too.

In the South, it’s not just state politicians who work against federal policies. It’s the bureaucrats too.

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The debate over states’ rights in the US is as old as the country itself. In the American South, many politicians still reject the federal government’s rules and regulations. In new research, Nicholas G. Napolio and Jordan Carr Peterson find that this resistance applies not only to well-publicized issues such as race relations and healthcare policies but also to […]

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    Why state ballot measures should use specific language if their backers want them to succeed

Why state ballot measures should use specific language if their backers want them to succeed

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In a majority of US states, voters can influence policy via ballot measure, which in some cases can include tax increases to fund new initiatives. But how can those who support these policies overcome voters’ resistance to new taxes? Travis Braidwood finds that the answer may be a simple one: if the language on a ballot initiative is made […]

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    Why Virginia’s scandal-struck Democratic executives are likely to remain in power.

Why Virginia’s scandal-struck Democratic executives are likely to remain in power.

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The past two weeks have seen an upheaval in the politics of the Old Dominion State. What began as a disagreement over a late-term abortion bill in the state House of Delegates developed into a scandal for the state’s Democratic Governor, Ralph Northam, after a 1980s yearbook linking him to racist imagery emerged. This has been followed by further […]

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    The 2020 Iowa Caucuses are now less than a year away – our ‘Primary Primers’ series will be your guide to what to expect.

The 2020 Iowa Caucuses are now less than a year away – our ‘Primary Primers’ series will be your guide to what to expect.

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With barely a pause for breath following the 2018 midterm elections, the 2020 primary election race is now unfolding. Rob Ledger and Peter Finn introduce USAPP’s Primary Primers series and preview some important 2020 election themes: the importance of government dysfunction, candidates’ fundraising abilities, the rapid evolution of the Democratic Party, and whether or not President Trump may see […]

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