Brendan Nyhan


Why Are GOP Governors Unpopular?

[J]ust a year ago, there were plenty of moderate Republican governors — most of them in liberal or moderate states, where they were often quite popular. Now there are almost none, save some borderline cases like Mr. Daniels and Mr. Herbert. The unsurprising result is that Republicans now have a group of extremely unpopular governors… Read more »

Who Would be Blamed for a Debt Default?

Who would get blamed for an economic downturn resulting from the debt ceiling standoff? John Sides, a political scientist at George Washington University, has argued that incumbents tend to get blamed by voters for bad economic conditions even under divided government. New York Times blogger Nate Silver responds that a debt-induced crisis “would not be… Read more »

Bush White House Said Tax Cuts Increase Revenue

In his column today, Paul Krugman says the White House didn’t make unsupported claims about tax cuts increasing revenue: [E]ven the administration of former President George W. Bush refrained from making extravagant claims about tax-cut magic, at least in part for fear that making such claims would raise questions about the administration’s seriousness. In reality,… Read more »

Of Twitter, Nate Silver, and Straw Men

One of the problems with Twitter is that people can easily take what you write out of context. Last Friday, for instance, Nate Silver criticized me for “poor political punditry” because of a tweet in which I said “A few more jobs reports like this and Romney et al. are going to be measuring the… Read more »

The Debt Ceiling Fight in Historical Perspective

In recent years, growth in elite polarization has broken down a series of bipartisan norms in Washington, but the GOP’s brinksmanship over the debt ceiling (which will continue today in a meeting at the White House) is historically unprecedented. It’s worth underscoring what the stakes are. Unlike other commentators, political scientists are often relatively sanguine… Read more »