Corruption: The perennial campaign issue

August 20, 2018
With congressional elections coming up in November, Democrats have focused on blasting what they call a Republican “culture of corruption.” (CNN, January 18, 2006) House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi… Read More

August recess? It’s the law

July 31, 2018
It’s (almost) August in Washington which means that Congress (and a good part of the city) will go into recess. This year, however, there’s a twist: The Senate is… Read More

Do roll call votes influence member reelection prospects?

July 30, 2018
By Ben Highton Political scientists and political analysts have a keen interest in knowing whether the roll call votes Members of Congress (MCs) make concerning significant public policy influence… Read More

How pork-barrel spending shapes the ideological composition of Congress

July 12, 2018
In classrooms across the country, economics professors often use the phrase “guns and butter” as an analogy for the competing priorities nations face when deciding how to allocate resources. Read More

Rethinking redistricting and when it matters

June 28, 2018
Image source: US Census By Charles R. Hunt In a previous LegBranch post, I  assessed some competing theories of how consequential the redistricting process has been to congressional elections… Read More

Polarization is an output of our process, not the cause of all our woes

Featured image thumbnail
June 26, 2018
Our recent piece, “Congress is Broken. But don’t blame polarization,” provoked a number of useful discussions about how political scientists should interpret the results of empirical models like DW-NOMINATE. Read More

How do electoral incentives affect legislator behavior?

June 19, 2018
Image source By Alexander Fouirnaies and Andrew B. Hall  The Democratic Goal: Electoral Accountability Those in power don’t always do what we want them to do; this is the central… Read More

Video: Weak parties and strong partisanship

Featured image thumbnail
May 23, 2018
At our April 2018 Legislative Branch Capacity Working Group meeting, Marquette professor and contributor Julia Azari discussed her take on how and why we can have… Read More

The House and Senate go rogue?

May 22, 2018
Image source: The Hill By Joshua C. Huder Today’s Congress is often rightfully perceived as lacking democracy and controlled by a select few. Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are cast… Read More

Social media’s polarizing effects

April 24, 2018
Image source: NYMAG By Kevin Wagner Mark Zuckerberg’s recent testimony in front of Congress illustrates two very important points about social media. Every member of Congress knows they have… Read More