Author Archives: Jordan Ragusa

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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With Ted Cruz’s announcement, the 2016 campaign is starting late, but more intense than ever

Like a bugle at the start of a horse race, Ted Cruz’s announcement yesterday signals the beginning of the 2016 presidential election. Indeed, in the American political lexicon the term “horse race” refers to the media’s obsession with electoral prognostication.  … Continue reading

Posted in Elections, Primaries | 4 Comments

Handicapping the GOP’s Prospects of Repealing Obamacare in the 114th Congress

It didn’t take them long, did it? Just a few days into the 114th Congress, Republicans in the House passed not one, but two bills to undo elements of the Affordable Care Act. What follows is the first of two … Continue reading

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Can the midterm outcome “solve” Washington’s problems? No. But it can make things worse.

An old adage is that lawmakers win reelection by “running against Washington.”  According to a recent Gallup poll, just 14% of Americans approve of Congress’s job performance. So while there’s something absurd about incumbents and major party candidates running against … Continue reading

Posted in Elections, Filibuster, Legislative Politics, Polarization | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Food Fight! Can Food Brands Predict Elections?

A few weeks ago on Meet the Press, Chuck Todd proposed that the fate of the Senate could come down to the distribution of Starbucks coffee shops (an elitist, urban chain) vs. Chick-fil-A restaurants (propagated by rural, social conservatives).  He … Continue reading

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Don’t like the president’s “power grab” on ISIS? Blame Congress.

Pundits on both sides of the aisle are criticizing the Obama administration’s decision to bomb ISIS targets without seeking congressional approval.  For example, Andrew Sullivan compares Obama’s actions to those of his predecessor, George Bush, calling the president’s decision a … Continue reading

Posted in American Political Development, Legislative Politics, Separation of Powers, The Presidency | 1 Comment