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 »

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 »

Even The Biggest Scandals Can’t Kill Party Loyalty

There have been lots of questions, especially among liberals, about when congressional Republicans might turn on President Trump, particularly in the wake of his controversial firing of FBI Director James Comey and the reports late Monday that he compromised classified information. The assumption behind these questions is that at a […] Read more »