Focus on Political Science

Focus on Political Science

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In an October 7 commentary, Bard College political scientist Ian Buruma examined the growth of right-wing populism in Europe, which is being fueled by anti-Muslim feelings.

On October 6, George Mason University political scientist Michael McDonald posted a new analysis of voter turnout. He notes that the potential base of voters is commonly overstated by the de facto inclusion of ineligible groups such as convicted felons and illegal aliens. When the universe of potential voters is properly adjusted, McDonald finds, contrary to conventional wisdom, that voter turnout has not declined over the last 40 years.

Also in an October 6 post, political scientist Jonathan Bernstein looked at what strategies Republicans might pursue next year if they regain control of at least one house of Congress, given that there will be a Democrat in the White House. He thinks they will quickly realize that they cannot enact their agenda over a presidential veto and will settle for making noise with investigations and such.

And on October 6, the Public Religion Research Institute released a poll examining the composition of the so-called tea party movement. It finds that its members have much more in common with social conservatives than libertarians.

An October 5 report from Pew found declining support for Republicans among Latino voters, but weak support for Democrats.

A September 28 paper by NYU political scientist Sanford Gordon examined the methodology of two widely followed political handicappers, Charlie Cook and Stu Rothenberg. Gordon concludes that their methodology predicts that Democrats will retain control of the House by a narrow margin. Political scientist Joshua Tucker commented in an October 4 post.

A September 27 Gallup poll examined the ideological and demographic composition of the Republican Party.

On September 26, Election Data Services released a forecast of reapportionment based on preliminary data from the 2010 census. It shows Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah and Washington each gaining one House seat, Florida gaining two and Texas gaining four; Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey and Pennsylvania will each lose a seat, and Ohio and New York will both lose two seats.

A September 24 analysis of the House Republicans' "Pledge to America" by found many dubious factual claims.

In a September 17 post, UCLA law professor Stephen Bainbridge called attention to a 1988 lecture by the late conservative scholar Russell Kirk on populism that is relevant to todayÕs tea party movement.

I last posted items on this topic on September 27.

Bruce Bartlett is an American historian and columnist who focuses on the intersection between politics and economics. He blogs daily and writes a weekly column at The Fiscal Times. Read his most recent column here. Bartlett has written for Forbes Magazine and Creators Syndicate, and his work is informed by many years in government, including as a senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House. He is the author of seven books including the New York Times best-seller, Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy (Doubleday, 2006).

Bruce Bartlett’s columns focus on the intersection of politics and economics. The author of seven books, he worked in government for many years and was senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House.