Michael A. Smith

Remembering Burdett Loomis 

by Michael A. Smith, Professor of Political Science, Emporia State University Dr. Burdett “Bird” Loomis died in late September.  He served for many decades as a Professor of Political Science at the University of Kansas.  Though he never served in public office himself, Loomis’ advocacy of good…


Do-It-Yourself Redistricting and What I Learned

by Michael A. Smith, Professor of Political Science, Emporia State University I redistricted.  Here is what I learned. First, the basics.  Redistricting no longer requires sophisticated computer software that only legislative research departments can afford. For more than 10 years now, computer…


A Redistricting Primer

by Michael A. Smith, Professor of Political Science, Emporia State University It’s time for redistricting.  What does that mean, and what insights does political science offer? Every ten years, the country experiences reapportionment and redistricting as a result of the decennial Census mandated by…


Georgia’s New Voting Laws Meet Political Science

by Michael A. Smith, Professor of Political Science, Emporia State University Controversy swirls around Georgia’s new voting laws, along with similar ones in Florida, Texas, and several other states.  Passed ostensibly to control voting fraud in the wake of the huge vote-by-mail turnout last year,…


Biased? Sure. Lying, no.

by Michael A. Smith, Professor of Political Science, Emporia State University Accusations that the news media are biased are now so common as to become cliché.  Undoubtedly, the media are biased.  In fact, bias is inevitable in human decision making.  Unfortunately, one of the greatest political…


QAnon: The Conspiracy Theory Behind the Capitol Seizure

by Michael A. Smith, Professor of Political Science, Emporia State University  On January 6, followers of former President Trump stormed and seized the United States Capitol, temporarily halting the certification of electoral votes.  Photos and news accounts of the event point to a popular…


Voter Fraud or Voter Suppression? Using Political Science to Evaluate Competing Claims

by Michael A. Smith, Professor of Political Science, Emporia State University  This year’s contentious political climate has escalated a longstanding, partisan dispute over election laws and their enforcement.  Led by President Trump, Republicans are sounding the alarm about possible voter fraud,…


Is the Preference for Chaos a Rational Decision?

by Michael A. Smith, Professor of Political Science, Emporia State University  The study of “fake news” and other rumors spread via social media are gaining steam.  Recent work by political scientists fundamentally challenges the conventional wisdom about the fake news phenomenon and the…


Do Millennials Exist? Generations, Social Science and the Trouble With De-Bunking

by Michael A. Smith, Professor of Political Science, Emporia State University  The host of TV’s “Adam Ruins Everything,” Adam Conover is easy to identify by his quirky hairsyle and clothes, energetic presentation, and strong intellect.  His signature style is the use of humor and research to…


How the Pandemic Became Partisan: A Story of Parties, Science and Professionals

by Michael A. Smith, Professor of Political Science, Emporia State University  How did the Coronavirus pandemic become partisan? The partisan divide on responses to the pandemic is only the latest iteration of a story that has been steeping for more than a decade.  Put briefly:  the political…