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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

voting-ballot

That Time the Polls Were Wrong

As Election Day approaches, a reminder that polling, while generally quite reliable, has a few blind spots.

What Makes Us Politic

ebola-ward

When Disease Becomes Political: The Likely Electoral Fallout From Ebola

Will voters blame President Obama—and punish Democrats in the upcoming mid-term elections—for a climate of fear?

What Makes Us Politic

iowa-state-capitol

Republicans Stand to Make Gains in State Legislatures

And that’s a much bigger deal than whether or not a few seats shift in the House of Representatives.

What Makes Us Politic

voting-day-small-town

Does Forecasting an Election Change the Outcome?

If Nate Silver tells you that one candidate has a 90 percent chance of winning, why bother to vote?

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.

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We’re Not So Great at Rejecting Each Other

And it's probably something we should work on.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and the Brain

Neuroscientists find less—but potentially stronger—white matter in the brains of patients with CFS.

Incumbents, Pray for Rain

Come next Tuesday, rain could push voters toward safer, more predictable candidates.

Could Economics Benefit From Computer Science Thinking?

Computational complexity could offer new insight into old ideas in biology and, yes, even the dismal science.

Politicians Really Aren’t Better Decision Makers

Politicians took part in a classic choice experiment but failed to do better than the rest of us.

The Big One

One town, Champlain, New York, was the source of nearly half the scams targeting small businesses in the United States last year. November/December 2014

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