Fear: Trump in the White House

In this episode of the USC Bedrosian Bookclub Podcast, Lisa Schweitzer hosts a discussion with Christian Grose, Jeff Jenkins, and me about Bob Woodward’s latest reportage on the Presidency: Fear. How does this stack up to other Woodward titles and how does the principal-agent theory work its way into conversation with these political junkies? Click below to find out!

Is Trump Country Really Better Off Under Trump? No. It’s Falling Further Behind.

If you’ve been wondering what I’ve been working on lately, here is an excerpt of my research from my new post on the Washington Post site:

Two years have passed since Donald Trump made his famous campaign promise in disaffected regions across the country: “We are going to start winning again!” For many voters who felt that they had lost ground in recent decades, the candidate argued, a vote for him would be rewarded with renewed prosperity and prominence.

It was a classic campaign promise, overly ambitious and cleverly vague. What exactly did “winning” mean? Certainly, many reporters believed voters perceived the promise as an economic one. So let’s measure the promise’s success that way. How have Trump voters fared economically, compared with Hillary Clinton voters?

Not noticeably better, according to the data. By most measures, my latest research shows, Trump counties — and especially counties with higher proportions of Trump voters — continue to fall farther behind the rest of the country economically. The story of our economy, like the story of our politics, continues to be a story of division and divergence.

To read the rest, click here and check it out. Or if you really want to dig into the numbers, click here and read the whole paper!

Our American Discourse, Ep. 34: The Eternal Struggle for Power on Capitol Hill

Power is up for grabs in Washington. A controversial President, an unpopular Congress, and a midterm election all make 2018 a battleground for political control. Who will win? How will they do it? And what role do you play? This is story of the most consequential game ever played, and it’s told by one of the leading Congressional experts of our time.

In this episode, Jeffrey A. Jenkins teaches us the strategy of legislative power: who has it, how they get it, what they do with it, and why we should care.

Continue reading “Our American Discourse, Ep. 34: The Eternal Struggle for Power on Capitol Hill”

Our American Discourse, Ep. 28: Who Do Politicians Really Represent and Does the Electorate Notice?

With Donald Trump’s approval ratings at record lows, it’s worth asking how much this one number matters…and whether the people who approve really are better represented by him than the people who don’t. If our politicians really do represent some Americans better than others, it calls into question the very foundational ideals of our representative democracy.

In this episode, Brian Newman uncovers who’s represented, who’s not, and how it affects their view of government.

Continue reading “Our American Discourse, Ep. 28: Who Do Politicians Really Represent and Does the Electorate Notice?”

Autopsy of a Failed Health Insurance Experiment: Did It Die of Natural Causes, or Was It Murdered?

It was just another week for the Trump administration. A senior official resigned after admitting to major ethics violations, the President insulted millions of innocent brown-skinned Americans on Twitter, and quietly—so quietly that almost no one noticed—the Department of Health and Human Services pulled another Jenga block out of the teetering tower that is the Affordable Care Act. Fortunately, it did not fall.

But it did become more expensive. And in that understated tragedy, we find our mystery: Was that HHS’s intent all along?

Continue reading “Autopsy of a Failed Health Insurance Experiment: Did It Die of Natural Causes, or Was It Murdered?”