Seth Masket, a Pacific Standard contributing writer, 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.
Nancy Pelosi May Not Deserve Blame for Democrats Not Impeaching Donald Trump
Impeachment may well be the right course, but the speaker might not have the votes for a resolution to pass in the House.
There Are Many Democratic Candidates. Party Insiders View a Bunch as the Same.
Bernie Sanders is a first choice for many Democratic activists, but if he's not one's top choice, he usually isn't considered an option.
The Democratic Primary Field Is Not as Wide Open as It Seems
By looking at which campaigns experienced staffers choose to work for, one can see which candidates the party is seriously signaling as potential nominees.
Political Polarization Is Not a Driver of Gridlock at the State Level
States like Colorado have polarized—but productive—legislatures. Term limits and relatively weak lobbying interests help explain the phenomenon.
There's No Good Way to Determine Electability Other Than Holding Elections
It's important to not nominate a sure loser, but, historically, "electability" arguments have been used to discourage women and minorities from running.
'Impeachment Will Help Republicans' and Other Myths
As Democrats weigh the benefits of impeachment following the release of the Mueller report, here's what history says about the arguments for or against proceeding.
How the Hillary/Bernie Democrat Divide Played Out in State Elections Beyond 2016
Data since the 2016 election shows Democrats are still divided.
The Problem With Personality-Based Campaign Coverage
A profile of John Hickenlooper demonstrates how journalism that focuses on candidates' charisma often makes incorrect assumptions, and favors white male politicians.
Democrats Used to Disagree About Gun Control. The 2020 Candidates Don't.
The current crop of frontrunners in the 2020 Democratic primary show the homogenization of the left's views on combating gun violence.
No, Democrats Do Not Need to Nominate a White Man in Order to Defeat Trump
It's the conditions of the economy, the popularity of the incumbent party, and the state of foreign relations that really affect a presidential nominee's chances—not their race or gender.
What Lessons Should the Media Learn From the 2016 Election?
Trump's campaign scandals ultimately benefited him in the 2016 election. That won't be the case in 2020.
The Democrats' Innovative Primary Format Relies Largely on Chance
The Democrats' new randomized debate plan is a gold mine for campaign researchers.
The Demise of 'The Weekly Standard' Is a Blow to the Republican Party
The magazine's demise signals the further erosion of conservatism as a coherent ideology—and its replacement by a Trump personality cult.
What Effects Will California's Earlier Primary Have on the 2020 Presidential Election?
California will now be using early voting, which means Democrats in the state will be able to participate in the presidential nomination process around the same time as Iowa caucus-goers.
Dissecting George H.W. Bush's Unusual Electoral Record
The elder Bush won an election that was hard to win, and lost one that was hard to lose. How does this happen?
Only One State Legislature Is Now Under Split Party Control
Here's what that means for policymaking in the U.S.
The Supreme Court Nomination That Tore the Country Apart
The ascendence of Brett Kavanaugh levied considerable damage to all three branches of government.
Explaining Our Indifference to Presidential Character
When it comes to presidential scandals, is all press really good press?
How the Identity Politics Argument Affects a Party's Choices
Democrats understand the last election determines how the party prepares for the next one.
What We Don't Know About Russian Interference in the 2016 Election
Rather than being honest about Russian influence in 2016, Republican leaders are trying to enhance the legitimacy of their own president and party.
Trump's Immigration Policy Is a Feature, Not a Bug
While the president has floundered on issues like health care and gun rights, he's been consistent on his belief in the need for an immigration crackdown.
Why Are Democratic Leaders So Afraid to Speak Out Against the NFL?
When it comes to standing up against the NFL's new protest policy, many Democratic leaders have opted for passivity. But what if the importance of the middle ground has been substantially overstated?
Breaking Down Colorado's Surprisingly Productive 2018 Legislative Session
Colorado's legislature had a productive year. But, because of the state's term limits, that output probably won't last.
How Colorado Is Trying to Bring Unaffiliated Voters Into the Primary Election Fold
Colorado is attempting an unusual style of primary election next month: allowing unaffiliated voters to choose which primary they'd like to vote in. What does that mean for politics in the Centennial State?
Is It Really So Bad for Party Leaders to Pick Primary Favorites?
In most states, primary elections make official just who gets to call themselves the Democratic or Republican nominee. But that doesn't mean party leaders have to be neutral in those contests.
In Colorado, Labor Reform Has Created a Huge Rift on the Left
Sharp divisions between labor unions and reformers threaten to tear apart the Democratic Party in the Centennial State.
We Need to Make Sure Student Interns Are Not Being Mistreated in Statehouses
There's not been a sudden spike in sexual harassment within our state legislatures; this has been going on for decades. And professors who help send students to statehouse internships need to be mindful of that fact.