Are Career Politicians “Out of Touch” with Constituents?

June 9, 2014
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,… Read More

Bergdahl, Benghazi, and Beyond: The Politics of Congressional Investigations

June 6, 2014
Is Bowe Bergdahl the new Benghazi? It would certainly seem so.  Several Republicans are calling for investigations into the now infamous prisoner swap.  Calls for impeachment… Read More

Why Americans “Tune Out” the State of the Union

January 28, 2014
With the State of the Union just a few hours away, the political science blog-o-sphere is all abuzz.  The essential reading list includes: Can presidential speeches sway public opinion? … Read More

Yes, Elections are Cultivating Polarization. But…

January 9, 2014
Competition for power, gerrymandering, disappearing marginal districts define Congress’s electoral landscape. Today, the American electorate is both closely divided and increasingly uncompetitive. In other words, partisan majorities are narrower today… Read More

Our Very Unproductive Congress: Why Today’s Gridlock is Different and more Devastating

December 3, 2013
One of President Truman’s most repeated lines, the “Do Nothing Congress,” is increasingly being used less as a metaphor and more as a statement of fact. The 112th Congress was… Read More

Party Competition and the Supression of Minority Rights

November 21, 2013
This blog post has been in the back of my mind for some time, but is especially relevant given today’s events in the Senate.  I don’t have some profound… Read More

Do Veterans Decrease Polarization in Congress?

November 11, 2013
If the timing of this post doesn’t make it obvious, the use of “veteran” refers to lawmakers with prior military experience, not the length of one’s tenure… Read More

What’s Missing in the Polarization Debate? Congress.

October 15, 2013
Currently, the debate over American polarization is dominated by electoral considerations: gerrymandering, sorting, PACs, campaign finance, etc. Most of these arguments are based on underlying assumption that the American people,… Read More

Voting Against the Debt Limit Is for Losers!

October 10, 2013
Greg Koger at the political science blog Mischiefs of Faction has an interesting post this morning entitled “Fiscal Conservatism is for Losers.”  In his post, Koger uses… Read More

How Can We Explain the Amash Vote to Defund the NSA?

July 30, 2013
A peculiar thing happened in the House last week.  An amendment offered by Justin Amash (R-MI) narrowly failed on the floor, with a majority Democrats voting for the amendment (offered… Read More