Brendan Nyhan

Predicting the Winner

One year in advance of the 2012 election, New York Times blogger Nate Silver published a presidential forecasting model. The model includes measures of presidential approval and economic performance — standard variables in election forecasting models — as well as a novel measure of challenger ideology that appears to have substantial effects. Based on this… Read more »

Perry’s “16th Century” Gaffe (with Audio)

I attended the post-debate fraternity event last night where Texas governor Rick Perry mistakenly placed the American Revolution in the 16th century: Our Founding Fathers never meant for Washington, D.C. to be the fount of all wisdom. As a matter of fact they were very much afraid if that because they’d just had this experience… Read more »

Perry’s Challenges in Dartmouth GOP Debate

Going into tonight’s GOP debate at Dartmouth College (where I am a faculty member), the challenge for Rick Perry, as TAP’s Jamelle Bouie notes, is to reassure nervous elites that he’s a capable national-level candidate while attracting support from anti-Romney conservatives who have swung toward Herman Cain: Romney is leading the field with 38 percent… Read more »

The Difference Between Obama and Truman

I have a new column at Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball on why Harry Truman’s 1948 campaign against the “Do-Nothing Congress” may be a misleading model for President Obama: [T]he dramatic narrative of Truman’s victory doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. As University at Buffalo, SUNY political scientist James Campbell pointed out in 2004 (gated), Truman’s comeback… Read more »

NYT Seduced by Neuroscience Again

Here’s a scientific article that needs careful attention among editors of the New York Times op-ed page: The Seductive Allure of Neuroscience Explanations Explanations of psychological phenomena seem to generate more public interest when they contain neuroscientific information. Even irrelevant neuroscience information in an explanation of a psychological phenomenon may interfere with people’s abilities to… Read more »