Counting Steps

I love counting things, and my latest interest is the number of steps-per-day that I walk.  You often hear the claim that 10,000 steps is a good goal. For a number of years, I used my iPhone as a pedometer, but I know also that this is not a great option since I don’t carry my […]

When do political ads work?

This is the focus of a lot of my research.  One conditioning factor we think matters in whether an ad is successful or not is the prior knowledge and opinions that voters have of the candidates running.  Meaning, Hillary Clinton is unlikely to change a lot of minds with her political ads, but an unknown […]

Campaign Finance Data (updated July 2019)

I’ve been using FEC data for years.  Recently they launched an API to allow for specific downloads of data.  I’ve been playing around with it for a few weeks.  And I pulled and graphed the below data from the API. The advantage of this is that I can run the exact same code after the next […]

More on Trump approval

In prior posts I’ve shown some results of a model predicting quarterly job approval for Trump.  The analysis uses quarterly approval of presidents prior to Trump to model the effect of lagged approval (e.g., Q4 of last year on Q1 of the next), the political context (i.e., divided or unified government), and economic factors (GDP […]

Measuring success in Government courses

I’ve been wondering: do our majors excel in our courses relative to other classes they take at Bowdoin? I used data from a recent graduating class and plotted the students’ GPA in their Government courses against their overall Bowdoin GPA.  I have suppressed the numeric labeling to make it clear that I’m not interested in […]

Ballot Questions in Maine, Polling Edition

Given my interest in ballot questions in Maine history, I’ve set out to collect as much polling data as possible on these questions.  Many poll results are posted to Ballotpedia and Wikipedia–aggregated from news coverage of the polls in recent election years–but I’ve also been fortunate to collect additional polls from my colleague, Chris Potholm, […]

Cost of Campaigns, 1888-2018

I’m giving some remarks this week at the 7th Circuit Bar Association’s symposium on “Revitalizing Article I.”  I’ll be talking a lot about political advertising, but I’ll start with some discussion of the cost of federal campaigns.  Here is a portion of my remarks with accompanying graphs. “I want to talk with you today about political […]