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Change We Can Believe In? Using Political Science to Predict Policy Change in the Obama Presidency

  • Jonathan Woon (a1)

Based on the results of the 2008 presidential and congressional elections, an analysis using theories and methods of modern political science (pivotal politics theory, ideal point estimates, and bootstrap simulations) suggests that the conditions are ripe for real policy change. Specifically, we should expect policies to move significantly in a liberal direction, few or no policies should move in a conservative direction, and many of the outcomes will be moderate or somewhat to the left of center (rather than far left). Furthermore, the predictions depend as much on partisan polarization and the results of the congressional election as they do on the outcome of presidential election itself.

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E. Scott Adler . 2000. “Constituency Characteristics and the ‘Guardian’ Model of Appropriations Subcommittees, 1959–1998.” American Journal of Political Science 44 (1): 101–14

Stephen Ansolabehere , James M. Snyder Jr., and Charles Stewart III. 2001. “Candidate Positioning in U.S. House Elections.” American Journal of Political Science 45 (1): 136–59.

Tim Groseclose . 1994. “Testing Committee Composition Hypotheses for the U.S. Congress.” Journal of Politics 56 (2): 440–58.

Keith Krehbiel . 1998. Pivotal Politics: A Theory of U.S. Lawmaking. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Jonathan Woon , and Jeremy Pope . 2008. “Made in Congress? Testing the Electoral Implications of Party Ideological Brand Names.” Journal of Politics 70 (3): 823–36.

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PS: Political Science & Politics
  • ISSN: 1049-0965
  • EISSN: 1537-5935
  • URL: /core/journals/ps-political-science-and-politics
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