Political Research Digest
The Political Research Digest features up-and-coming researchers delivering fresh insights on the big trends driving American politics and policy today. In 15 minutes, you’ll get beyond punditry to data-driven understanding.
Each episode goes in-depth on one hot topic in the news with two researchers who have just published relevant empirical studies. Hear about their new discoveries and get the broader context that’s lost in the daily news shuffle.
Topics covered include the influence of cable news, the gender gap in voting, and why our national discussion of climate change is so polarized. Grossmann and guests explain what we do and don’t know and why it matters as they knock down common myths and make cutting-edge research accessible to political professionals.
Political Research Digest is hosted by political scientist Matt Grossmann of Michigan State University and provided by the Niskanen Center, a Washington think tank dedicated to improving policy and advancing liberty.
Episode 1: How Fox News Channel Spreads its Message and Persuades Viewers
Studies: Bias in Cable News and No Need to Watch
Interviews: Gregory Martin, Emory University and Audrey McClain, Temple University
Episode 2: Why Republican Women Don’t Run for Office and Why It Matters for the Gender Gap in Voting
Studies: Which Women Can Run? and Who is Responsible for the Gender Gap?
Interviews: Heather Ondercin, Wooster College and Danielle Thomsen, Syracuse University
Episode 3: Polarized Opinion on Climate Change and Messages that Move Conservatives
Studies: Climate Change: U.S. Public Opinion and Improving Climate Change Acceptance among U.S. Conservatives
Interviews: Megan Mullin, Duke University and Graham Dixon, Ohio State University
Episode 4: How the House Freedom Caucus Gains Power in Congress
Studies: Building the Bloc and Who are President Trump’s Allies?
Interviews: Ruth Bloch Rubin, University of Chicago and Andrew Clarke, Lafayette College
Episode 5: How Gun Politics and Gun Policy Polarize America
Studies: Planting in Fertile Soil and Emerging Political Identities?
Interviews: Jay Barth, Hendrix College and Mark Joslyn, University of Kansas
Episode 6: Multi-Racial Electoral Coalitions for Minority Candidates
Studies: “Racial Change, Racial Threat, and Minority Representation in Cities” and “Racial Coalition Building in Local Elections”
Interviews: Paru Shah, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Andrea Benjamin, University of Missouri
Episode 7: Rules Around the Senate Filibuster
Studies: “Exceptions to the Rule: The Politics of Filibuster Limitations in the U.S. Senate” and “On Parliamentary War: Partisan Conflict and Procedural Change in the U.S. Senate”
Interviews: Molly Reynolds, Brookings Institution and James Wallner, R Street Institute
Episode 8: Does the Tax Law Signal Change in How Parties use Tax Credits and Deductions?
Studies: “The distributive politics of tax expenditures” and “American Exceptionalism Revisited”
Interviews: Christopher Faricy, Syracuse University and Joshua McCabe, Endicott College
Episode 9: Congressional Primaries: How the Parties Fight Insurgents
Studies: “The Party’s Primary” and “Congressional Primary Elections”
Interviews: Hans Hassell, Cornell College and Robert Boatright, Clark University
Episode 10: The Resistance: Who is Protesting Trump and Are They Changing Public Views?
Studies: “American Resistance” and “A Change of Heart”
Interviews: Dana Fisher, University of Maryland and Nazita Lajevardi, Michigan State University
Episode 11: Do Americans Implicitly Trust Government, Despite our Public Anger?
Studies: “Anger and Declining Trust in Government in the American Electorate” and “My Trust in Government is Implicit”
Interviews: Steven Webster, Emory University and Stephen Nicholson, University of California-Merced
Episode 12: Are Americans Becoming Tribal, with Identity Politics Trumping All?
Studies: “One Tribe to Bind Them All” and “Affective Polarization or Partisan Disdain?”
Interviews: Liliana Mason, University of Maryland and John Barry Ryan, Stony Brook University
Episode 13: Are Red and Blue States Making Red and Blue Policies?
Studies: “Policy Preferences and Policy Change” and “Lawmaking in American Legislatures”
Interviews: Christopher Warshaw, George Washington University and Mark Richardson, James Madison University
Episode 14: Racial Stereotypes in Voting for Obama and Trump
Studies: “The Racial Double Standard” and “Negative Black Stereotypes, Support for Excessive Use of Force by Police, and Voter Preference for Donald Trump During the 2016 Presidential Primary Election Cycle.”
Interviews: Darren Davis, University of Notre Dame and Randall Swain, Eastern Kentucky University
Episode 15: How Debt Finance Leads to War and Defense Spending
Studies: “Borrowing Support for War” and “Guns, Butter, and Debt”
Interviews: Sarah Kreps, Cornell University and Matthew DiGiuseppe, University of Mississippi
Episode 16: Anti-Immigration Politics: Is California’s Past the Republicans’ Future?
Studies: “Reexamining the Effect of Racial Propositions on Latinos’ Partisanship in California” and “Creating a Racially Polarized Electorate.”
Interviews: Iris Hui, Stanford University and Joshua Zingher, Old Dominion University
Episode 17: Labor Union Influence on Inequality and Legacy Costs
Studies: “Organized Labor’s Check on Rising Economic Inequality in the U.S. States” and “Unions, Parties, and the Politics of State Government Legacy Cost”
Interviews: Laura Bucci, Saint Joseph’s University; Daniel DiSalvo, City College
Episode 18: When Liberals and Conservatives Use Genetics to Explain Human Differences
Studies: “Genetic Attributions: Sign of Intolerance or Acceptance?” and “Discord Over DNA: Ideological Responses to Scientific Communication about Genes and Race.”
Interviews: Stephen Schneider, University of Nebraska and Elizabeth Suhay, American University
Episode 19: Who’s More Afraid of Democracy: the Center or the Right?
Studies: “Follow the Leader” and “The Centrist Paradox”
Interviews: Lee Drutman, New America and David Adler, Renewing the Centre
Episode 20: Did Facebook Really Polarize and Misinform the 2016 Electorate?
Studies: “Facebook News and (de)Polarization” and “The Stealth Media?”
Interviews: Michael Beam, Kent State University and Young Mie Kim, University of Wisconsin
Episode 21: Does Nationalized Media Mean the Death of Local Politics?
Studies: The Increasingly United States and “Battleground States and Local Coverage of American Presidential Campaigns.”
Interviews: Daniel Hopkins, University of Pennsylvania; Kerri Milita, Illinois State University
Episode 22: How the Federalist Society Changed the Supreme Court Vetting Process
Studies: “Ideas with Consequences” and “Neil Gorsuch and the Ginsburg Rules”
Interviews: Amanda Hollis-Brusky, Pomona College and Paul Collins, Jr., University of Massachusetts
Episode 23: How Campaign Money Changes Elections, Before and After Citizens United
Studies: “Dark Parties” and “Are Federal PACs obsolete?”
Interviews: Anne Baker, Santa Clara University and Stan Oklobdzija, University of California, San Diego
Episode 24: How Citizens Match their Issue Positions to Candidates and Causes
Studies: “Roadmaps to Representation” and “Saying Versus Doing”
Interviews: Cheryl Boudreau, University of California, Davis and Nicholas Hass, New York University.
Episode 25: How the Tea Party Paved the Way for Donald Trump
Studies: Reactionary Republicanism and Party Takeover
Interviews: Bryan Gervais, University of Texas at San Antonio; Rachel Blum, Miami University of Ohio
Episode 26: How Marriage & Inequality Reinforce Partisan Polarization
Studies: “The Home as a Political Fortress” and “Inequality and Public Polarization”
Interviews: John Kuk, Washington University and Tobias Konizter of PredictWise
Episode 27: Are the Democratic or Republican Parties Becoming More Similar or Different?
Study: Asymmetric Politics and Red Fighting Blue
Interviews: David Hopkins, Boston College
Other research podcasts include “EconTalk” with Russ Roberts, “No Jargon” with Avi Green, “New Books in Political Science” with Heath Brown, “Have You Heard” with Jennifer Berkshire and Jack Schneider, and “The Measure of Everyday Life” by Brian Southwell. Our podcast is also inspired by the blogs Marginal Revolution and The Monkey Cage, the Free Exchange column in The Economist, and Kevin Lewis’s roundup of Daily Findings at National Affairs.