Author Archives: jordanragusa

Is Nikki Haley a Strong Vice Presidential Candidate? Evidence from Research on the “Veepstakes”

After seven years in office, last night President Obama gave his final State of the Union address.  Immediately following Obama’s speech, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley delivered the GOP’s primetime response.  Naturally, journalists and pundits are debating whether Haley’s speech … Continue reading

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Ohio’s Issue 3 Could Influence Federal Decriminalization Efforts

[An earlier version of this blog post was published by The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog.  See here.  Thanks to John Sides for his support.] Last Tuesday, voters in Ohio rejected a constitutional amendment that would have legalized both recreational and medical … Continue reading


When Does Congress Repeal Legislation? A New Dataset of Major Repeals from 1877-2012 Provides Answers

Our understanding of Congress—and how we evaluate the institution—is shaped by the laws it enacts.  Yet Congress often performs the opposite of law creation: repealing landmark laws.  But despite the regularity and importance of repeals, we know very little about when and … Continue reading

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Gun Control Remains Unlikely in this Congress

A post in July explained why gun control is unlikely to happen in this Congress.  It was prompted by the shootings Tennessee and Louisiana.  A shortened version of that post appeared in a letter to the editor in South Carolina’s The State newspaper. … Continue reading

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Why the House is to blame for the Senate’s polarization

In the American political lexicon, the Senate is said to possess “coolness” and “wisdom.”  Words like “decorum,” “comity,” and “respect” are frequently used to describe the institution as well.  In recent years, however, cracks have appeared in the Senate’s high-minded … Continue reading

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Gun Control is Unlikely in this Congress: Here’s Why

According to surveys, Americans support gun control measures like background checks and bans on assault weapons. Yet Congress is unlikely to act. Why? Continue reading

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Simulating the Vote to Remove the Confederate Flag from South Carolina’s Capitol Grounds

Do opponents of the Confederate flag have the votes to remove it from South Carolina’s Capitol grounds? In an attempt at answering this question, Charleston’s newspaper, The Post & Courier, did the yeoman’s work of contacting all 170 state lawmakers and recorded their … Continue reading

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