Senator Manchin (D-WV) awaits the release of new legislation from the left wing of his party.

With the passage of the COVID stimulus package today, Democrats took one step towards meeting some of their major campaign promises, while also placing one of their other major promises, the $15 minimum wage, in jeopardy. At the heart of this conflict is Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia who, as by far the most conservative member of the Democratic party, ultimately holds enormous negotiating power as the pivotal member of the Senate. …


From the primaries to the pandemic, this has been a wild election year. November 3rd will (hopefully) bring an end to the chaos of the campaign trail. So what is likely to happen? I wrote this guide to help people better make sense of what is going to happen on election night. First, I start by briefly walking through the evidence that the polls are valid and generally should be believed. Then, I’ll talk about what the state of the race looks like before the night even begins. …


A scene from the disastrous 1968 Democratic Party Convention in Chicago. (Associated Press)

She stares at me with a half-smile, hand on her forehead, eyes wide and unblinking with disbelief. “Why would we ever decide to do anything this way?”

I teach political science, and one of my students from my “Parties and Polarization” class has come to my office hours to talk about the primary process. I am fortunate enough to be teaching such a course during the 2020 Democratic primary, which offers ample opportunity to apply class concepts to a real world event that is relevant, important and of immediate interest to my students. These students, largely political science majors, mostly…


Jim Weber/The Commercial Appeal, via Associated Press

Elizabeth Warren just announced her support for abolishing the Electoral College and, as a result, I’ve spent the last two days seeing her receive pushback, in the form of what appears to be sophisticated, historically-grounded erudition, but which in actuality in lazy nonsense. As someone for whom this has been a pet issue for a while, I’ve spent most of the day holding back my annoyance and, like most instances in which we suppress our emotions, they end up manifesting themselves later in bizarre ways. Like me writing a long article for Medium.

In this article, I’m gathering every dumb…


It would seem that if there were ever a time that a third party candidate could make a decent run, it would have been in 2016. With Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the Democratic and Republican parties nominated the two most disliked general election presidential candidates in history. By late April of this year, Hillary Clinton had an average net favorability rating of -20, while Trump’s was a remarkable -40; since 1980, no candidate for office at that stage had ever averaged less than -10, and most had never dipped below -5. Trump was able to claim the nomination of…


Trump’s executive order this weekend has got everyone talking. A lot of people out there are now taking positions on issues that most people know very little about, and which involve an extremely complicated policy domain - immigration. Even at the most basic level, there seems to be some confusion over the many moving parts of the executive order. Trump’s executive order temporarily ends travel to and from seven middle eastern countries for those with non-immigrant travel visas. When it was first announced, the order affected those possessing immigrant visas (green cards) as well, but this has since been walked…


Now over a week removed from the election, we have seen a wide variety of reactions to Trump’s victory within the public. Some are elated; others are devastated; some don’t care at all. While much ink has already been spilled to explain the results of the election, less effort has been made to explore the divisions in society that it has created and reflects. I’m writing this article to fill that gap.

To start with some caveats: the goal of this piece is not to justify the behaviors or attitudes of any individual or group, but rather to explain how…

Sean Freeder

Assistant Professor of Political Science at University of North Florida. US politics and political psychology. Lover of music, science, sports and comedy.

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