The Legislative Branch’s Big Oversight Problem

May 26, 2016
The federal government has seen a century of growth. In 1915, the government had only a handful of departments, 400,000 employees (half of whom worked for the U.S. Postal… Read More

Strengthening Congressional Oversight Through Crowd-Sourcing

May 23, 2016
Congress has a big problem when it comes to oversight. The federal government has grown vastly larger over the past century, but Congress has done little to empower itself… Read More

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

October 2, 2014
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… Read More

Quantifying Bill’s Value to Hillary’s Campaign (Part 2)

August 28, 2014
In a recent post, I explored whether it’s possible to quantify Bill’s value to Hillary Clinton’s campaign (see here).  In other words: Do voters reward (and punish) Hillary… Read More

Quantifying Bill’s Value to Hillary’s Campaign (Part I)

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August 7, 2014
In presidential elections, relationships matter. For example, political scientists know that the relationship between economic conditions, the number of causalities in war, and the incumbent’s party affiliation explain the… Read More

The State of the Union: Putting First Things First

February 13, 2013
State of the Unions.  What are they good for?  Absolutely nothing. Ok “absolutely nothing” is an oversimplification.  But as best political scientists are able to discern, presidential speeches in… Read More

Google Politics: “Register to Vote”

September 7, 2012
This from Google Politics today on the Twitters: Here are some additional data from Google Trends for you to chew on.  Thoughts on the relevance or irrelevance of these data are… Read More

Paul Ryan “Worked With Democrats as Often as Any Republican.”

August 27, 2012
The effort to define Paul Ryan is in full swing.  While most political observers are well aware of Ryan’s record, prior to his VP selection fully 43% of Americans… Read More

The Veepstakes: What’s the Electoral Value of a Vice President?

August 11, 2012
A few hours ago, Mitt Romney announced Wisconsin representative Paul Ryan as his running mate.  It seems obvious that in picking Ryan, Romney is trying to solidify his position with fiscal conservatives… Read More

Reforming Polarization and Gridlock: Series on Congressional Reform

March 14, 2012
For someone who studies congressional development, the past couple years have been frustrating. Many people with noble intentions proposed reforms to remedy our dysfunctional Congress. However, these discussions have almost universally… Read More