Jonathan Bernstein

Why Democrats Can’t Blame Gerrymandering

The Upshot’s Nate Cohn has a nice item explaining why gerrymandering isn’t responsible for Republican majorities in the House (for more on this argument, see an old John Sides post). Dave Weigel has a good response, arguing that yes, gerrymandering is the culprit. Who is correct? They both are! But Cohn is, on the whole,… Read more »

How Political-Science Bloggers Triumphed

Is political science needed now more than ever? Ezra Klein noted earlier this week that my discipline, at least in the subfields that study U.S. politics, has moved into the mainstream of political journalism, and perhaps the mainstream of U.S. politics. That’s certainly true. At the American Political Science Association meeting in Washington last week,… Read more »

When Ted Cruz Cries ‘Wolf’ on Shutdown

I largely agree with T. Becket Adams, who argues today that if Republicans were planning to shut down the government, we would know about it. As I’ve said, government shutdowns that last longer than a day or two don’t happen by accident. In 1995-1996, Newt Gingrich deliberately engineered a train wreck, as they called it… Read more »

In Praise of John Boehner

How good a speaker has John Boehner been? I’ve been hanging out at the American Political Science Association annual meeting in Washington this week. I was a bit surprised when two people who study American politics volunteered that they believed Boehner had done an excellent job, given the constraints he has faced. The reason I… Read more »

Catch of the Day: Local Politics Get Short Shrift

A well-deserved Catch to Ezra Klein for the final item in his post “The 9 most important facts about the 2014 election” — that local elections are hugely underappreciated. The biggest bias in election coverage isn’t towards Republicans or Democrats or even towards conflict and sensationalism. It’s towards national elections rather than local elections. This… Read more »