Politics in the Blogosphere, 2/20/2013 Edition

Some good links of political interest:

One of the maddening aspects of political debates (especially campaign debates) is how utterly useless they are to a reasoned discussion of the serious issues the nation faces. University of Notre Dame Professor of Philosophy Gary Gutting has a proposal to give us A Great Debate in the New York Times “Opinionator” blog.

At MischiefsofFAction Professor Seth Masket asks why the Obama campaign, so driven by data and the proofs offered by political science, wasted so much money to produce essentially valueless campaign effects. Read If Campaign Effects are So Minimal, Why Even Try?.  Some reasons are a belief in defining the opponent early (very hard to test this one), wanting to do everything possible in a close election (campaign effects are minimal, not non-existent) and simply campaign teams feeling trapped into producing the effects followers expect in a campaign, whether useful or not.

Also from Prof. Masket, Raising Barriers to Voting, with Predictable Consequences. You guessed it, voter suppression techniques work to hold down minority voting.

Sorry Democrats but political scientists John Sides and Eric McGhee conclude that Redistricting Didn’t Win the Republicans the House in 2012.

And how much fun is this? Secretary of State Galvin has placed online a searchable database of election stats going back to 1979. The political geekdom salutes Secretary Galvin.

It warms my heart to say that elite opinion in this town is asking tough questions of the US Attorney’s Office. How does Michael McLaughlin walk and the late Aaron Swartz get bullied into facing real time? Read Margery Egan of the Boston Herald here and David Kravitz of bluemassgroup here.

About Maurice T. Cunningham

Maurice T. Cunningham is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. He teaches courses in American government including Massachusetts Politics, The American Presidency, Catholics in Political Life, The Political Thought of Abraham Lincoln, American Political Thought, and Public Policy. His book Maximization, Whatever the Cost: Race, Redistricting and the Department of Justice examines the role of the DOJ in requiring states to maximize minority voting districts in the Nineties. He has published articles dealing with the role of the Catholic Church in Massachusetts politics and on party politics in the state. His research interests focus upon the changing political culture of Massachusetts.
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