Michael A. Smith

More Guns, Less Replication: The Case for Robust Research Findings

The meaning of the word “replication” hardly seems like the sort of thing that would land a person in court. Yet, it did. In Lott v. Levitt (2009), the U.S. District Court of Northern Illinois ruled on that very question, in a dispute between two academic authors of bestselling books. In his book…


The Loss Lab

“Trump was an alternative to interchangeable robots whose goal is to avoid saying anything interesting.” - Molly Ball, political reporter, The Atlantic “If you wanted to write a playbook for how to lose an election, Trump did that and he won anyway.”  - Steve Peoples, AP reporter What rotten luck…


Election 2016: Did New Voting Laws Tip the Balance?

Since the early 2000s, a flurry of new voting laws have passed in the states. There is a marked Democrat-Republican divide.  Democratic-leaning states, such as California, Oregon, and Massachusetts, have passed laws making access to the ballot easier.  Oregon now automatically registers citizens to…


Polling for the 2016 Presidential Election: What Went Wrong?

As I write, Donald Trump is less than two weeks from being inaugurated as President of the United States. For political scientists, our “what the…?” moment involves the failure of most public-opinion polls to predict the results of the 2016 election. I joined numerous colleagues in assuming a…


MPSA Blog: Top 10 Posts from 2016

Regardless of your research interests, your academic (or Alt-Ac) role, or your aspirations for the new year, there is something on this list of MPSA’s most popular blog posts from 2016 that is sure to pique your interest: Q&A with the Founder of Women Also Know Stuff Recommended Reading:…


Political Science: The Cure for Election Anxiety

Reporters are discovering a new phenomenon this year: election anxiety.  This year’s contests, particularly the one for President, have Americans worried and minds racing. The cure is right here: political science. It is the key to calming mental chatter, reducing stress, re-centering energy, and…


Bernie Goldwater: What Sanders Supporters Can Learn from Young Americans for Freedom

Supporters were crestfallen, but their resolve was firm. Their candidate had refused to buckle to the pressure from party elite—the usual pressure from political managers, to move to the political center and tone down strong rhetoric, seeking to enlist the support of middle-of-the-road voters and…