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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

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?

What Makes Us Politic

campaign-coverage

Why Make Stuff Up? The Incredible Demand on Campaign Reporters to Keep Things Interesting

Will the recent incorporation of some working political scientists into legacy media outlets help curb the use of misleading headlines and made-up stories of momentum in campaign coverage?

What Makes Us Politic

ballot-voting

Could We Moderate Our Politics With Instant Runoffs?

An alternate voting system being tested in several cities around the world could have some surprising long-term effects.

What Makes Us Politic

supreme-court-building-exterior

It’s OK to Pressure Ginsburg and Breyer to Retire From the Supreme Court

Retirement is just one more public action by a working politician for which an active constituency should have a say.

In the Classroom

harvard-yard

The Business of Higher Education: What We Miss by Looking Only at Balance Sheets

The generation of knowledge by professors. The transformative conversations that happen outside of the classroom. The advancements in our understanding of society. How can you put a value on any of these things?

In the Classroom

empty-classroom-core

Common Core: The Obamacare of Education Policy

The education standards now adopted by 45 states are nothing like the Affordable Care Act, but have a lot in common with “Obamacare,” that cartoon created by the conservative media to convince viewers of Obama’s socialist agenda.

What Makes Us Politic

arizona-capitol

Understanding a Politician’s Motives: Why Did Jan Brewer Veto SB 1062 in Arizona?

A politician’s true ideological position, however unknowable that may be for an outsider, is an important consideration when attempting to determine motive. But it’s not the only consideration.

The Slightly Smaller Screen

cards

How Realistic Is ‘House of Cards’ Anyway?

Not at all, really. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy it for what it is.

What Makes Us Politic

colorado-denver-capitol

How to Implement a Policy You Hate: Lessons From the Legalization of Marijuana

In Colorado, voters very clearly articulated a position, and the government was compelled to follow through with it—like it or not. Is this an example of democracy at its best?

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The Rise of the Nuisance Flood

Minor floods are afflicting parts of Maryland nearly 10 times more often than was the case in the 1960s.

America’s Streams Are Awash With Pesticides Banned in Europe

You may have never heard of clothianidin, but it's probably in your local river.

How Textbooks Have Changed the Face of War

War is more personal, less glorious, and more hellish in modern textbooks than in the past. But there’s still room for improvement.

NASA Could Build Entire Spacecrafts in Space Using 3-D Printers

This year NASA will experiment with 3-D printing small objects in space. That could mark the beginning of a gravity-free manufacturing revolution.

The Big One

One in two full-time American fast-food workers' families are enrolled in public assistance programs, at a cost of $7 billion per year. July/August 2014

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