John Sides

John Sides is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at George Washington University.

Recent Articles

Michelle Bachmann Venn Diagram

Courtesy of Matt Glassman . Diagrams for Gingrich, Huntsman, and Romney are at the link.

What If North Korea Collapsed?

Based on optimistic assumptions about how a collapse might occur, we estimate that 260,000–400,000 ground force personnel would be required to stabilize North Korea. This means that even in the relatively benign scenario that we describe, the requirements for stabilizing a collapsed North Korea would outpace the combined U.S. troop commitments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Managing a more demanding Korean collapse scenario would push these requirements higher or lengthen the duration of the operation, or possibly both. That’s one of many relevant bits from this new and timely article by Bruce Bennett of RAND and Jennifer Lind of Dartmouth. A gated version of the article is here . An interview with Bennett and Lind is here . [Hat tip to Holger Schmidt]

The Economy in Iowa Isn't Too Bad (But Don't Forget the Big Picture)!

In response to Michael Lewis-Beck’s guest post below, the New York Times Washington Bureau Chief David Leonhardt tweets : Conclusion seems either off or old. IA’s UE rate is still 6% & risen much less than US vs 12/07. There are two questions that I think pertain to the original NYT article Lewis-Beck was responding to. One is how representative Iowa is. The article’s author, A.G. Sulzberger, writes: As the first state to take part in the Republican nominating contest, Iowa has long been criticized as too much of an outlier to be permanently endowed such an outsize influence in shaping the presidential field. Too small, critics say. Too rural. Too white. But this election cycle, there is another particularly relevant way in which the state does not represent the nation as a whole: it is too economically healthy. Sulzberger and Leonhardt are absolutely correct that, as of 2011, Iowa’s economy is doing better than the nation’s. At the same time, part of Lewis-Beck’s point, and see...

Hard to Remember Things: Birthdays, Appointments, How Much TV You Watch

The short answer: not very well. That’s the subject of my first post over at the Washington Post’s polling blog, Behind the Numbers. It features this graph from Lynn Vavreck and Michael LaCour . See the post for more.

Do GOP Voters Care About Electability?

Alex Lundry and I have a new post up at Model Politics. In a YouGov survey from last week, we included an experiment. After GOP voters had been asked which candidate they supported in the primary, we randomly assigned them to see Intrade probabilities for the GOP nomination, for the general election, or both. Then we asked them a second time which candidate they supported. The goal was to see whether knowing something about electability would change their preferences. Indeed, it did: In the graph we examine all respondents, regardless of which probabilities they saw. In total, 35% of them changed their preference. And unsurprisingly, they moved to the two candidates who did best on Intrade: Gingrich and Romney. Our post has further details, such as: Romney is helped by his general election probability much more than his nomination probability. About 25% of Gingrich supporters defect to Romney after they’ve seen the general election numbers from Intrade. Paul and Johnson voters tend to...