John Sides

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

Recent Articles

The Supreme Court, Health Care Reform, and Electoral Politics

(Flickr / TimmyGUNZ)
Last week I participated in a roundtable that on these issues, along with other GW faculty from public health and law—Sara Rosenbaum, Peter Smith, and Katherine Hayes—as well as former U.S. Senate Finance Committee staffer Mark Hayes and former House Commerce Committee Health Subcommittee Counsel Andy Schneider. You can find a synopsis here and the video here . My remarks centered on implications of health care reform for the 2012 election (as I previously wrote about here ). How might the Court’s decision affect the politics of the issue for the election? First, it’s likely that the Court’s decision—no matter what it is—won’t much affect overall public support or opposition to the Affordable Care Act. Court decisions often simply polarize approval—as in this study of Roe v. Wade. There are already early indicators that this will happen. In a March 2012 Kaiser Family Foundation poll , respondents were asked how they would feel if the court rules the individual mandate unconstitutional...


(Flickr/Lucas Warren)
I’m sorry that Ruy Teixeira had to review this book. Give Senators iPads. Wishful thinking. Ezra Klein reviews Jack Abramoff’s and Lawrence Lessig’s books on money in politics—complete with a shout-out to Hall and Deardorff’s 2006 article and allusions to other research. Lessig responds .

As the Economy Goes, So Do the Birthers

Andy Borowitz wrote a piece called “In Positive Economic Sign, Republicans Starting to Say Obama Wasn’t Born in US,” and Barry Ritholz writes : The NYT ’s Floyd Norris, on a hunch, decided to crunch them to see if there is any math underlying the funny business. As it turns out, there is: Anyone can check the numbers to see if Borowitz was right — he is. Then there are these graphs: And this: You will note that birther mentions skyrocketed in the spring of 2011, after a run of increasingly good job numbers, and then fell off along with the job numbers later that year. Now, with the job numbers rising again, so are the birther stories. So far in March there are 263 articles, putting us on a pace to break the monthly record set in April 2011 when Donald Trump was trying to be the birther candidate. I like fun correlations as much as the next guy, but there is nothing to see here. When you download the data , a better graph quickly shows how little is going on here: The overall...

The Snowe Retirement

…should there be a two-way race for the Senate seat (and that’s by no means a sure thing), Republicans will need a candidate who can run as a Snowe Republican. The currents of 2010 affect their ability to field such a candidate. That’s U. of Maine political scientist Amy Fried in this post . See also her earlier piece with Douglas Harris, “Maine’s Political Warriors: Senators Snowe and Collins, Congressional Moderates in a Partisan Era.” Here is their graph of the changing partisan composition of New England’s congressional representatives: See also this post by Peter Ubertaccio. And this post by Keith Poole and this post by Simon Jackman, who writes: Should the Democrats pick up the seat, we might expect a Senator racking up a voting history a la Levin (D-MI), Stabenow (D-MI) or Cantwell (D-WA) or Murray (D-WA), right in the middle of the Democratic pack.


The psychology of primary voters . Lots of good polisci here. (Hat tip to Daniel Lippman.) What Citizens United did and did not do. Australia makes American politics looks nice? Citation to some of Deborah Brooks ’ work too. And there’s also the psychic crocodile . (Hat tip to Llewelyn Hughes.) See also Simon Jackman . Save the National Longitudinal Survey. Maps and war (via Seth Masket).