Bright Line Watch Survey Report: How is U.S. democracy doing?

From May 11-20, 2017, Bright Line Watch conducted its second expert survey of political scientists assessing the state of democracy in the United States. BLW’s first survey (Wave 1) was conducted at the outset of the Trump administration in February 2017. This report presents results from the second survey (Wave […] Read more »

Why populism is a threat to electoral integrity

Since the earthquake of Brexit in June last year, and Trump’s victory four months later, the news has been dominated by stories about populism, including whether European elections suggest that populist support is either rising or stalled. The media has also been fascinated simultaneously by problems of electoral integrity. This […] Read more »

How conspiracy theories helped power Trump’s disruptive politics

We watched over the past year as a wave of conspiracy theories infected our national discourse. … Trump’s use of conspiracy theory politics proved to be a particularly ingenious form of populism. By focusing his populist appeals on conspiracy rhetoric — rather than substantive policy — Trump galvanized the broad […] Read more »

Results from the Bright Line Watch U.S. Democracy Survey

BLW conducted its first U.S. Democracy Survey from February 13-19, 2017. We invited 9,820 political science faculty at 511 U.S. institutions to participate and received 1,571 responses (a response rate of 16 percent). … The survey had two broad goals. The first was to learn what qualities our respondents regard […] Read more »

Are voters likely to accept the presidential election results?

The Trump campaign has raised the possibility that the 2016 election may be rigged, and concerns about voter fraud resonate with some registered voters. Twenty-three percent of voters think widespread voter fraud happens a lot, and another 32 percent think it happens sometimes. Trump voters are far more likely to […] Read more »

Explaining Trump: Widespread Government Corruption

It’s been fashionable to make jokes about Congress’ historically low approval ratings, unbelievable incompetence in the government and now, unfortunately, the perception of widespread government corruption. Pundits and talk-radio hosts have a field day with this. So do late-night comics. It’s not funny anymore. CONT. Jim Clifton, Gallup Read more »

Beyond Distrust: How Americans View Their Government

A year ahead of the presidential election, the American public is deeply cynical about government, politics and the nation’s elected leaders in a way that has become quite familiar. Currently, just 19% say they can trust the government always or most of the time, among the lowest levels in the […] Read more »