Focus on Political Science

Focus on Political Science

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A March 5 working paper from the Institute for the Study of Labor found that conservative politicians tend to be better looking than liberal politicians.

A March 3 Pew poll found that anger with government is rapidly subsiding and support for the Tea Party is dropping as well.

The Pew poll also found growing support for marijuana legalization, with 45 percent of people now favoring it, up from 16 percent in 1990.

On March 2, the Center for Responsive Politics reported that 130 former lobbyists are now working as either chief of staff or legislative director to members of the current Congress. Republican former lobbyists outnumber Democrats by a two-to-one margin.

Also on March 2, Rasmussen published a poll showing that a majority of people now believe it was a mistake to have become involved in Iraq.

On February 28, the National Bureau of Economic Research posted a working paper which found that current and former marijuana users were much more likely to favor its legalization than non-users.

In a February 28 commentary, political scientists John Ferejohn and Frances Rosenbluth expressed concern that the normal forces which bring wars to an end are not working to stop the war in Afghanistan. This is because rather than paying for the war with taxes, it is being financed entirely by borrowing; rather than fighting with conscripts, our soldiers are all volunteers or de fact mercenaries; and the heavy use of technology has held down casualties to levels that are politically tolerable.

On February 28, the NBER published a working paper which found strong empirical support for the idea that rising income levels create pressure for nations to be more democratic.

On February 25, the National Journal published its annual ideological rankings of members of the House of Representatives. It finds that both bodies are deeply polarized.

Also on February 25, Gallup ranked the states by ideology. Mississippi ranked as the most conservative state; Vermont the most liberal.

A February 23 Pew poll found that members of the Tea Party are essentially indistinguishable from the religious right.

Also on February 23, the Rose Institute launched a new website devoted to redistricting, which the states must now do following the 2010 census.

I last posted items on this topic on February 22.

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. 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, Imposter: 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.