Revitalizing Rural Iowa!

January 18, 2019 0 Comments

After listening to Governor Reynolds’s Condition of the State address on Tuesday, and watching her inauguration this morning, it is now quite clear that one of her priorities in her first full term will be restoring rural Iowa. During her address on Tuesday, Reynolds highlighted her “Empower Rural Iowa Initiative,” to be co-chaired by Lt. […]

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“Pocketbook issues” still matter

January 11, 2019 0 Comments

As I’ve said many times, the political world since January of 2016 has essentially been an ongoing political science experiment in determining what it takes for someone to abandon their in-group.  The research question taking some form of: What would it take for Republicans  (or Democrats if the situation were reversed) to abandon their party? […]

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Era of unshakable frustration?

December 31, 2018 0 Comments

Will the government shutdown affect attitudes toward government?  Perhaps not. One thing often discussed in the media is whether anything government does (or doesn’t do) affects public opinion— “negative partisanship” is so strong that nothing really matters. What do the data tell us? To understand whether attitudes are indeed stabilizing, I decided to compare the […]

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How to get around partisanship

December 30, 2018 0 Comments

The bitter 2018 midterm campaigns may be over, but as our elected officials turn to governing, it is unlikely that they will put aside partisan bickering in favor of respectful debate and healthy bipartisanship.  Instead, the intense “us vs. them” partisan tribalism that has marked American politics in recent years will almost surely continue. Can […]

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The big takeaway from 2018…political science wins!

November 7, 2018 0 Comments

Since 2016, when Republicans secured unified control of state government and Donald Trump won the state by over 9 points, there has been talk of Iowa becoming a “red state.”  However, as Donna Hoffman and I have argued, historical election patterns, the distribution of vote share, and changing demographics, notably the rural-urban divide, all suggest […]

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Iowa State Senate ratings

November 4, 2018 0 Comments

Will Republicans retain control of the Iowa Senate? According to two prominent forecasters, Lou Jacobson and Carl Klarner, the likelihood of a Democratic takeover is remote.  Jacobson rates the Iowa Senate as “Likely Republican” while Klarner’s model forecasts Democrats to control 21 seats following the election, with a less than 1 percent chance of capturing […]

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Turnout! or Turnout?

November 1, 2018 0 Comments

Much has been said about voter enthusiasm this election cycle.  Are Democrats more enthusiastic than Republicans and therefore likely to vote at a higher rate?  Are Republicans energized because of this very possibility? Michael McDonald, a political scientist at the University of Florida who runs The United States Election Project, reports that early voting numbers […]

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Voters have decided

October 25, 2018 0 Comments

We are less than two weeks away from the election and campaigns are still scrambling to get their messages out through radio, television, the Internet, and one-on-one voter outreach.  Yet, the prospects for voter persuasion are remarkably dim.  Consider the following two passages: From The Economist on October 20, 2018: “Almost everyone who voted for […]

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Why 43 percent could be enough to win

October 11, 2018 0 Comments

As reported by James Lynch in the Cedar Rapids Gazette on Wednesday, a new poll by Morning Consult has the approval rating for Governor Reynolds at 43 percent.  As Lynch notes, this puts Governor Reynolds in the bottom half of all incumbents.  However, my research on this topic suggests an approval rating in the low […]

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Three questions for 2018

September 23, 2018 0 Comments

As part of the American Democracy Project series the UNI Department of Political Science is hosting, I spoke to community members at the Cedar Falls Public Library Wednesday night.  While we didn’t make any concrete predictions, we did identify three key questions the 2018 election cycle may help to answer. Question #1.) Which is more […]

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