Elections and party politics across the US

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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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    Republicans in Congress may be the best positioned to stop Trump from declaring a national emergency.

Republicans in Congress may be the best positioned to stop Trump from declaring a national emergency.

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After the recent partial shutdown of the US government, Donald Trump emerged politically weakened and without his promised $5.7 billion border wall with Mexico. With the potential of yet another shutdown looming in less than three weeks, Trump may take the daring step of declaring a national emergency to secure funding for the wall. Thomas Gift analyzes the legal […]

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    The State of the Union is back on. But Donald Trump’s unpopularity may mean he is wasting his breath.  

The State of the Union is back on. But Donald Trump’s unpopularity may mean he is wasting his breath.  

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One major effect of the recent US government shutdown has been the delay of the annual State of the Union, the President’s set-piece speech before a joint session of Congress. John Lovett writes on the history and meaning of the President’s address, reminding us that the US Constitution offers little specific guidance on the format and timing of the […]

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    Why declaring a national emergency may not help Trump to get his wall

Why declaring a national emergency may not help Trump to get his wall

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In the face of the longest government shutdown on record, President Trump has suggested that he might declare a state of national emergency in order to construct a border wall on the US-Mexico border. Joshua Kennedy writes that while there seems to be little that could prevent President Trump from declaring a national emergency, even if Congress did not […]

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