By Erin K. Jenne

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) walks onto the stage holding a rifle before speaking at the Conservative Political Action Committee annual conference at National Harbor, Md., in March 2014. (Susan Walsh/Associated Press)

The following is a guest post by political scientist Erin K. Jenne of Central European University.


The tea party movement has been called out for many things, not least of which is championing positions that would make Barry Goldwater blush. This begs the question: What separates the tea party from Republicans or from the conservative movement at large?

Analysts have conducted surveys of self-identified tea party …read more

Via:: Monkey Cage

By Nate Silver


This year’s Senate election is close. Republicans have the clearer path to a majority, but it’s a treacherous one. Republicans are favored in Iowa and Colorado, for example, but not by much. If Democrats eked out victories in those states and picked up the seat in Kansas (by persuading independent Greg Orman to caucus with them), they could control 50 Senate seats and keep their majority. Democrats could also still pick up seats from the GOP in Georgia and Kentucky. And Republican gains in Arkansas and Louisiana are probable but far from certain.

So, we’ve not quite reached the …read more

Via:: 538 – Political

By Ben Highton


The Republican majority in House is apparently not at-risk this election cycle.  Whether you ask a variety of political scientists, other professional politics watchers like those at the Cook Political Report and the Rothenberg Political Report, or take a peek into Sabato’s Crystal Ball, no one gives the Democrats more than a black swan’s chance at retaking control of the House.

The same is true at Election Lab where we give the Republicans a better than 99 percent chance of continuing to control the House after the 2014 elections, a prediction not …read more

Via:: Monkey Cage

By Christopher Gandrud and Emily Beaulieu


Eggs are thrown and noses bloodied in the Ukrainian parliament. South Korean legislators use fire extinguishers and an ax to break into a barricaded committee chamber. The Venezuelan parliament becomes the site of a raucous fistfight. An antebellum U.S. senator is brutally caned by a member of the House in the Senate chamber. Even typically sleepy school board meetings in East Rampo, New York, collapse into shouting matches between parents and board members.

Why do legislative sessions breakdown into shouting, name calling, and even violence?

We’ve been gathering and analyzing data to answer …read more

Via:: Monkey Cage

By Erik Voeten

Jean Tirole (Toulouse) is the 2014 Nobel Laureate in Economics (Photo AFP)

Jean Tirole is the 2014 Nobel Laureate in Economics (Photo AFP)

Jean Tirole is the 2014 Nobel Laureate in economics (or for purists: the winner of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel). He won the prize “for his analysis of market power and regulation.” His most influential work uses sophisticated mathematical models to think through the incentives created by compensation schemes, rules and other mechanisms designed to influence agents. This helps us understand how to write optimal contracts, organize firms and design regulation (see Tyler Cowen’s excellent description).

Most of Tirole’s seminal theoretical contributions make …read more

Via:: Monkey Cage