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 »

More (on) Polarization

… Many studies have documented the widening gap between partisans of the two parties. The blatant contempt that Republicans and Democrats express towards each other in surveys has escalated in the last 20 years. … A 2015 study found that party prejudice is stronger than racial prejudice. Republican and Democratic […] Read more »

Congressional critics do check presidential power — by leading public opinion

Abraham Lincoln said that “public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed.” But in a polarized polity, can public opinion ever check presidential power? Our research suggests that it can. But Congress has an important role in jump-starting this popular constraint. CONT. Douglas […] Read more »

Why More Democrats Are Now Embracing Conspiracy Theories

Even as Democrats decry the false claims streaming regularly from the White House, they appear to have become more vulnerable to unsupported claims and conspiracy theories that flatter their own political prejudices. The reason isn’t just that a Republican now occupies the White House. Political psychology research suggests that losing […] Read more »

The Peculiar Populism of Donald Trump

All wars have unintended consequences, including culture wars. … In an article to be published in the June issue of Perspectives on Politics, “Trump and the Xenophobic Populist Parties: The Silent Revolution in Reverse,” Ronald Inglehart and Pippa Norris put their case in blunt terms: “Postmaterialism,” they write, “eventually became […] Read more »

Party Trumped Policy in 2016

President Donald Trump adopted a variety of controversial and unorthodox foreign policy stances during the 2016 presidential campaign. Since taking office, Mr. Trump has moved quickly to begin implementing many of these policies – including a border wall with Mexico, a ban on immigration from certain majority-Muslim countries, and withdrawal […] Read more »

How Unconscious Sexism Could Help Explain Trump’s Win

A woman has never come closer to the presidency than Hillary Clinton did in winning the popular vote in November. Yet as women march in Washington on Saturday, many of them to protest the presidency of Donald Trump, an important obstacle to the first woman president remains: the hidden, internalized […] Read more »