Category Archives: Contemporary American Politics

Voters’ Ideological Perceptions of 2014 Senate Candidates

In this post we use Bayesian Aldrich-McKelvey scaling to analyze voters’ perceptions of the ideological positions of Senators and Senate candidates who will be running in close races in 2014 (we also describe the Bayesian Aldrich-McKelvey scaling method in our … Continue reading

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An Update on the Presidential Square Wave through 2013

Below we plot the first dimension DW-NOMINATE Common Space scores of the presidents in the post-war period, which we refer to as the “presidential square wave” due to its shape. An ideological score is estimated for each president throughout the … Continue reading

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Political Polarization and Income Inequality

Two topics that will likely get a lot of attention in President Obama’s State of the Union address are gridlock and income inequality. In this post, we detail how trends in income inequality and political polarization are strongly intertwined with … Continue reading

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Intra-Party Divides over Domestic Surveillance

Following Nate Silver’s analysis of how the issue of domestic surveillance divides the parties internally, below we use Optimal Classification (OC) in R to analyze the 112th House and Senate’s votes to renew the Patriot Act and the FISA (Foreign … Continue reading

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The Senate Judiciary Committee’s Vote on Comprehensive Immigration Reform and a Prediction of the Full Senate Vote

Below we use Optimal Classification (OC) in R to plot the Senate Judiciary Committee’s 13-5 vote in favor of a comprehensive immigration reform package that was originated by the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” group in the Senate, including Senator Marco … Continue reading

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The House and Senate’s 1996 Votes on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)

Ahead of the Supreme Court hearings on two gay marriage cases this week, below we use DW-NOMINATE scores to plot the House and Senate votes to pass the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) during the 104th Congress (1995-1997). The constitutionality … Continue reading

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An Update on the Presidential Square Wave

Below we plot the first dimension DW-NOMINATE Common Space scores of the presidents in the post-war period, which we refer to as the “presidential square wave” due to its shape. DW-NOMINATE is a statistical procedure that estimates the ideological positions … Continue reading

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An Update on Political Polarization through the 112th Congress

The 112th Congress closed unceremoniously this month with a series of votes (by the House and Senate) to avert the “fiscal cliff”. With this data, we can now analyze roll call voting in the 112th Congress in its entirety and … Continue reading

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House: The Speaker Election for the 113th House

Below we use Optimal Classification (OC) in R to plot the House’s vote on the Speaker of the 113th House. Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) won, receiving 220 votes and overcoming concerns about a mutiny among conservative House Republicans. Rep. Nancy … Continue reading

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House: Vote on the Fiscal Cliff Deal

Revised 3 January 2012: We have updated the plot with the votes of the four missing Yea legislators and the three missing Nay legislators. The substantive findings remain unchanged. Below we use Optimal Classification (OC) in R to plot the … Continue reading

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