Focus on Political Science

Focus on Political Science

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A February 21 Gallup poll found that the number of solidly Democratic states has fallen to 14 from 30 in 2008. However, the number of solidly Republican states has only risen from 4 to 5.

A February 18 Gallup poll found that Ronald Reagan is considered the nation’s greatest president; Abraham Lincoln came in second and Bill Clinton third.

A February 18 Rasmussen poll found that 28 percent of people think there are too many federal holidays.

In a February 15 commentary, University of Chicago law professor Geoffrey Stone argued that the Defense of Marriage Act, enacted during the Clinton administration, is unconstitutional.

On February 15, Public Policy Polling found that 51 percent of likely Republican primary voters don’t believe that Barack Obama was born in the United States, up from 44 percent in 2009.

On February 9, Brooklyn Law School professor Rebecca Kysar posted an article, forthcoming in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, which is highly critical of the growing tendency of Congress to pass temporary legislation with sunset dates.

A February 8 CNN/Opinion Research poll found that two-thirds of Republicans prefer a 2012 presidential candidate who can beat Barack Obama to one who stands with them on all the issues.

In a February 3 commentary, University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato noted that Republicans now control the legislatures in 25 states and share control in another 8 states. In the aggregate, Republicans now control a majority of seats in state legislatures for the first time in more than 60 years. Given that states must redistrict following the 2010 Census, this puts Republicans in a very strong position to improve their numbers in the House of Representatives.

On January 31, Gallup released a poll examining the popularity of ideas promoted by the so-called Tea Party movement. An overwhelming majority of people across the political spectrum consider its ideas to be important.

On January 25, a Public Policy Polling poll found strong support for a third party presidential candidate in 2012. Support was strongest on the right, weakest on the left.

On January 18, the University of Pennsylvania’s International Relations program published a report on the world’s leading think tanks. The Brookings Institution ranked number one overall.

On January 13, the Congressional Research Service published a report on reapportionment following the 2010 Census.

I last posted items on this topic on January 21.

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.