A 2016 Review: Turnout Wasn’t the Driver of Clinton’s Defeat

In the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election, many analysts suggested that Hillary Clinton lost to Donald J. Trump because of poor Democratic turnout. Months later, it is clear that the turnout was only modestly better for Mr. Trump than expected. To the extent Democratic turnout was weak, it was […] Read more »

Another Look Back at 2016: Comparing the exit poll and the Cooperative Congressional Election Study

On election night in November, exit polls provided the first insight into how different demographic groups voted. But months later, other richer data sets are being released, and they provide researchers with new information about the election and the voters that participated in it. One such tool is the Cooperative […] Read more »

Voting for the Five Percent

“Why don’t working class voters vote their economic interests?” has been a perennial question for generations of academics. (One might also ask why full professors don’t vote their interests–for tax-cutting conservatives.) Part of the problem in addressing the question is knowing whether the premise is correct. When unemployed coal miners […] Read more »

Purple America Has All But Disappeared

President Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton was among the narrowest in history, and the country is deeply split on his job performance so far. But if you feel like you hardly know anyone who disagrees with you about Trump, you’re not alone: Chances are the election was a landslide in […] Read more »

Can Millennials Save the Democratic Party?

Facing a bleak electoral landscape after 2016, the brightest spot for Democrats may be President Trump’s continued weakness with members of the Millennial generation—who are poised to surpass the more Republican-leaning baby boomers in 2020 as the largest generation of eligible voters. Polls early in his presidency consistently show Trump […] Read more »

How Midterms Do (and Do Not) Differ From Presidential Elections

With politicos everywhere turning their eyes to the still-distant 2018 midterm election, we thought it would be useful to review some of the basic differences and similarities between the electorates in presidential and midterm cycles. Basically, midterm electorates are smaller, older, and less diverse than presidential ones, but the demographic […] Read more »

The Democratic Party is facing a demographic crisis

Musa al-Gharbi, Columbia University In 2008, Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama outperformed his predecessors John Kerry and Al Gore with virtually every single demographic group, handily defeating his Republican rival John McCain. This success spread to down-ballot races as well. Democrats expanded control over the House and the Senate, and […] 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 »