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Seth Masket

Seth Masket
Seth Masket is a political scientist at the University of Denver, specializing in political parties, state legislatures, campaigns and elections, and social networks. He is the author of No Middle Ground: How Informal Party Organizations Control Nominations and Polarize Legislatures (University of Michigan Press, 2009). Follow him on Twitter @smotus.

Recent posts

What Makes Us Politic

100-dollar-bills

Should We Be Told Who Funds Political Attack Ads?

On the value of campaign finance disclosure.

What Makes Us Politic

bad-polling

Freaking Out About Outliers: When the Polls Are Way Off

The idea of such a small number of people being used to predict how millions will vote sometimes irks observers, but it’s actually a very reliable process—most of the time.

What Makes Us Politic

capitol-building

2014: A Pretty Average Election

Don’t get too worked up over this year’s congressional mid-terms.

What Makes Us Politic

coffman-vigil

What’s at Stake in Colorado’s 6th Congressional District

For political scientists and other political observers, this is one of the most fascinating races for a House seat in the country.

What Makes Us Politic

georgia-capitol

Why We’re Not Holding State Legislators Accountable

The way we vote means that the political fortunes of state legislators hinge on events outside of their state and their control.

What Makes Us Politic

voting-sticker

How Low Voter Turnout Helps Public Employees

To a surprising degree, as voter turnout goes down, public employee compensation goes up.

What Makes Us Politic

ferguson-protest

Ferguson Is a Serious Outlier

One black city council member is not nearly enough. In a study of city councils, only one place in America had a greater representational disparity than Ferguson, Missouri.

What Makes Us Politic

hickenlooper

The Best Use for Initiatives?

Colorado makes a case for using a citizens’ initiative as a threat against government that forces legislators to act.

What Makes Us Politic

colorado-capitol

The Deeply Political Birth of a State

How naked political maneuvering guided the creation of Colorado 138 years ago.

What Makes Us Politic

obama-approval

Why Isn’t Obama More Popular?

It takes a while for people to notice that things are going well, particularly when they’ve been bad for so long.

What Makes Us Politic

primary-elections

How Small-D Democratic Should Our Political Parties Be?

We need to decide how primaries should work in this country before they get completely out of hand and the voters are left out entirely.

What Makes Us Politic

primary-voting

How Can We Fix the Broken Primary Election System?

A look at the Bipartisan Policy Center’s comprehensive consideration of the issue.

What Makes Us Politic

bush-charleston

The Bankruptcy of Authenticity

Every presidential candidate is essentially playing some sort of role. That doesn’t mean that they’re lying.

What Makes Us Politic

capitol-dc

What Matters in Mid-Term Elections?

It’s not that the Bowe Bergdahl story isn’t important; it’s just unlikely to influence voters in November. So what will?

What Makes Us Politic

cantor-obama

A Lesson From Eric Cantor’s Loss: It’s Time to Prepare for the Weird Stuff

Primaries are forcing officeholders into increasingly extreme positions.

What Makes Us Politic

political-parties-networked

Political Parties Are Networks, and You Want Them on Your Side

Even a very loose network of candidates, activists, donors, and interest groups can exert a powerful influence over elections.

The World Wide Web

social-networking

Don’t Fear the Network: The Internet Is Changing the Way We Communicate for the Better

Panic about the rise of social media is largely overhyped and misplaced.

What Makes Us Politic

voting-rights-act

How Not to Close the Gender Gap in Politics

As long as the Republican Party resists the welfare state, it’s going to have trouble attracting more female voters.

What Makes Us Politic

colorado-denver-map

Fetishizing All the Pretty Districts

Creating nice-looking congressional districts can often undermine their far more important political qualities—but that hasn’t stopped people from trying.

What Makes Us Politic

capitol-building-dc

Why Polarize?

Why are state legislatures and voters both growing more polarized when it’s clear that almost no one gets into politics with the goal of driving the parties further apart? Presenters at a recent conference proposed some answers.

What Makes Us Politic

political-parties

Different Parties, Different Cultures

Fearing bias, and because the differences are difficult to measure with reliability, most—but not all—political scientists shy away from describing the cultural differences between Democrats and Republicans.

What Makes Us Politic

partisanship

What the Decline of Partisanship Would Look Like

Our current Republican-Democrat divide is so durable because it lines up with the conservative-liberal divide. To undermine that would require a major shift in today’s ideological coalitions.

What Makes Us Politic

rand-paul

Don’t Fear the Zombie Candidates

Money, even lots of it, isn’t enough to win a presidential nomination if party insiders want someone else.

What Makes Us Politic

watergate-complex

Why Do Scandals Destroy Some Politicians but Not Others?

We’ve seen some careers ended, and others accelerated. What does the research have to say about who is ruined by a scandal and who isn’t?

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Mysterious Resting State Networks Might Be What Allow Different Brain Therapies to Work

Deep brain stimulation and similar treatments target the hubs of larger resting-state networks in the brain, researchers find.

Trust Is Waning, and Inequality May Be to Blame

Trust in others and confidence in institutions is declining, while economic inequality creeps up, a new study shows.

Dopamine Might Be Behind Impulsive Behavior

A monkey study suggests the brain chemical makes what's new and different more attractive.

School Counselors Do More Than You’d Think

Adding just one counselor to a school has an enormous impact on discipline and test scores, according to a new study.

How a Second Language Trains Your Brain for Math

Second languages strengthen the brain's executive control circuits, with benefits beyond words.

The Big One

One company, Amazon, controls 67 percent of the e-book market in the United States—down from 90 percent five years ago. September/October 2014 new-big-one-5

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