Special election recap

March 20, 2019 0 Comments

The special election for Senate District 30, or what I called the “S-cubed” election, is over.  The Democrat, Eric Giddens, received 57 percent of the vote, compared to 42 percent for Republican challenger, Walt Rogers.  Below are a couple of parting observations: First, turnout in this election far exceeded that of five previous special elections […]

Continue Reading »

The upcoming “S-cubed” election

March 11, 2019 0 Comments

The special election to fill State Senate District 30 left vacant by Jeff Danielson’s resignation is just over a week away.  Satellite voting in Maucker Union on the UNI campus will be held from 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. As with any election, turnout will be key, but perhaps […]

Continue Reading »

Upcoming event at UNI: “How Would You Balance the Federal Budget?”

February 24, 2019 0 Comments

This blog is to notify you of an upcoming event at UNI.  The Department of Political Science and UNI Chapter of the American Democracy Project will be hosting a “A Principles and Priorities Exercise” on Tuesday, March 5, 2019 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in the Commons Slife Ballroom on the UNI campus. The event, led by […]

Continue Reading »

The year of budgetary politics

February 16, 2019 0 Comments

Thus far, 2019 is shaping up to be the year of extreme budgetary politics.  First there was the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, followed by an extremely controversial declaration of a national emergency, the result of which is the redirection of previously appropriated money. Clashes between the executive and legislative branches over the budget […]

Continue Reading »

Separating Democrats

February 3, 2019 0 Comments

Thursday’s vote in the United States Senate to “rebuke” the president over his intended withdrawals of troops from Afghanistan and Syria could come to be a defining moment in the run-up to the Iowa Caucuses next February. As discussed in the New York Times, of the seven announced (or speculated) Democratic presidential candidates serving in […]

Continue Reading »

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. […]

Continue Reading »

“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? […]

Continue Reading »

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 […]

Continue Reading »

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 […]

Continue Reading »

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 […]

Continue Reading »