Category Archives: Polarization

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

Posted in Empirical Theory, Legislative Politics, Legislative Theory, Polarization, Political Institutions, Political Parties | Leave a comment

Left or Right? Who’s further from the middle?

Polarization is commonplace in American politics. Both parties are moving away from the middle. The debate often boils down to who is polarizing the most/fastest. New York Times opinion writer Peter Wehner sparked an interesting debate when he claimed, “in the … Continue reading

Posted in Legislative Procedure, Polarization, Policy Agendas, Political Institutions, Political Parties | 1 Comment

Political parties are often too convenient an explanation

Teagan Goddard asked the question, can politics be “unbundled” from political parties? In other words, if there is a market where we can unbundle phone and internet service, why isn’t there a market to unbundle politics from parties? Hans Noel … Continue reading

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Obama wants filibuster reform. Would it help polarization?

Obama had some interesting things to say about polarization and the filibuster in his interview with Vox. When the question of if government can work in the midst of polarization was posed, Obama mentioned the filibuster: “Probably the one thing that … Continue reading

Posted in Filibuster, Legislative Politics, Legislative Procedure, Polarization | 1 Comment

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

Why the Logic of “Throwing the Bums Out” is Wrong

As the election season ramps up, Americans offer dozens of claims about the “problems” facing our country and their purported “solutions.”  But while many of these claims are amenable to empirical scrutiny, few are ever studied. Spoiler alert: Americans are lousy … Continue reading

Posted in Elections, Legislative Politics, Polarization, Political Parties | 2 Comments

Are Career Politicians “Out of Touch” with Constituents?

On Tuesday, Republican voters in South Carolina head to the polls to elect a candidate for the U.S. Senate seat occupied by Lindsey Graham.  Graham, who’s held the position since 2002, is among the candidates.  If Graham wins, it will continue the … Continue reading

Posted in Elections, Electoral Institutions, Legislative Politics, Polarization, Political Parties, Primaries, Voting Behavior | 4 Comments