With all the noise created by a 24/7 news cycle, it can be hard to really grasp what's going on in politics today. We provide a fresh perspective on the biggest political stories not through opinion and anecdotes, but rigorous scholarship, massive data sets and a deep knowledge of theory. Understand the political science beyond the headlines with Harris School of Public Policy Professors William Howell, Anthony Fowler and Wioletta Dziuda. Our show is part of the University of Chicago Podcast Network.
Best Of: Does Ranked Choice Reduce Strategic Voting?
Something curious has happened in American politics. Andrew Yang of 2016 presidential election fame has launched a third party, The Forward Party, and he's attracting some attention. A key feature of this party is a belief in ranked choice voting and raising up the possibility that through ranked choice voting, we might recover our our democracy.
We're taking a week off to spend time with family, but we wanted to resurrect our discussion with our colleague Andy Eggers, who has written at length on ranked choice voting and the relationship between ranked choice voting and strategic voting. We hope you enjoy it. And we'll be back in two weeks with a brand new episode of Not Another Politics Podcast.
Did Voter Turnout Drop in Communities of Color After Shelby?
Nearly a decade ago, the Supreme Court effectively removed the "preclearance" process in its Shelby County v. Holder decision. That process had been implemented for decades as part of the Voting Rights Act and required places with a history of racial discrimination to get approval from the Justice Department before changing their voting procedures. When the Shelby decision came down, voting rights advocates and mobilization groups panicked. There were widespread fears that this decision would dramatically reduce voter participation in communities of color. Did they?
The University of Rochester's Mayya Komisarchik and Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Ariel White sought to answer that question in their recent paper, "Throwing Away the Umbrella: Minority Voting after the Supreme Court’s Shelby Decision." In this episode, we speak to Komisarchik about the impacts of the Shelby decision and whether our fears about countermobilization and voter suppression tactics have held true.
Do Local Minimum Wages Represent Local Preferences?
Advocates for the striking down of Roe by the Supreme Court say this will improve our politics by allowing people’s preferences to be better represented at the State level. But do State and local governments accurately match the preferences of their citizens when responding to their demands?
It’s a difficult question to answer, but one paper by NYU political scientist Julia Payson and co-author Gabor Simonovits at Central European University, “Locally controlled minimum wages are no closer to public preferences” provides a possible answer by way of locally set minimum wages. When local governments increase their minimum wages, do they accurately match local preferences? The answer is surprising, and has implications for policies beyond just minimum wage.
Roe & Departure From Precedent In The Supreme Court
There’s long been a belief that the Supreme Court rarely departs from precedent. But as the court appears to intend to strike down Roe, we’re wondering what the data tell us about how consistent the Supreme Court has been at honoring precedent. And, is the Supreme Court more likely to depart from precedent in constitutional cases than other types?
To break it all down, we spoke to Washington University law professor Lee Epstein, about her 2015 paper, "The Decision To Depart (or Not) From Constitutional Precedent: An Empirical Study of the Roberts Court", co-authored by William M. Landes and Adam Liptak.
Revealing New Data On Who Donates To Campaigns
There are many questions surrounding the nature of money in politics, but one of the first order questions we should be asking is who exactly is donating that money? We now have access to more data than ever due to a dramatic increase in small donations through online fundraising platforms.
Georgetown University Economist Laurent Bouton digs through this new data set in a recent paper “Small Campaign Donors” to answer all sorts of questions like: do big or small donors give more strategically, has there been an increase in donations to extremist candidates, and are the coasts influencing elections more than the rest of the country by donating more money?
Best Of: Fixing the Filibuster
As the academic year draws to a close at The University of Chicago, our hosts are busy attending to the last minute activities of a professor. So, this week we wanted to re-share one of our favorite episodes interrogating a radically different proposal to fix the filibuster rather than abolishing it altogether.
The filibuster is still one of the most contentious aspects of our politics today, and how it changes or doesn't change has a powerful impact on the most pressing political issues of the moment.