How attitudes about immigration, race and religion contributed to Trump victory

The story of President Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton has been analyzed and reanalyzed, told and retold since November. Is there more to add? The short answer, based on four reports released on Tuesday, is yes, and what the reports say is provocative. The reports debunk some of the assertions […] Read more »

What makes populist leaders tick? Here are 3 things we’ve learned.

… For decades, most political theories tended to assume that people were rational, which suggested that it didn’t much matter exactly who held power. Of course, psychologists have known for a long time that this assumption wasn’t always true, but it was difficult to study top decision-makers to draw general […] Read more »

Profound partisanship, rather than early voting, may have guaranteed Gianforte’s success amidst assault charges

The May 25th, 2017 special election for Montana’s sole U.S. House of Representatives seat took an unexpected turn on the eve of the election when Republican candidate Greg Gianforte was charged with assault for body slamming a reporter. The race between Gianforte and Democrat Rob Quist had been tightening in […] Read more »

Negative partisanship may be the most toxic form of polarization

… The big question in the 2016 election was whether Trump would underperform a traditional Republican. Historically, it is hard for an American party to win a third presidential term. It has only happened once (1988) since World War II. Had the Republicans thrown away a great opportunity by nominating […] Read more »

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 Republicans Are Always Looking Over Their Shoulders

The sudden appointment of Robert S. Mueller as a special counsel for the federal investigation into the Trump campaign’s relationship with Russia highlights a key question: Which choice poses the greater risk for Republicans in Congress, to support a potential impeachment or to close ranks behind the president? To defy […] Read more »