Political Ideologies and Political Parties in America
2013. (Cambridge University Press)
Winner of the 2014 Leon Epstein Outstanding Book Award, given by the Political Organizations and Parties organized section of the American Political Science Association.
Political Ideologies and Political Parties in America puts ideology front and center in the discussion of party coalition change. Treating ideology as neither a nuisance nor a given, the analysis describes the development of the modern liberal and conservative ideologies that form the basis of our modern political parties. Noel shows that liberalism and conservatism emerged as important forces independent of existing political parties. These ideologies then reshaped parties in their own image. Modern polarization can thus be explained as the natural outcome of living in a period, perhaps the first in our history, in which two dominant ideologies have captured the two dominant political parties
- Ezra Klein (vox.xom): The Single Most Important Fact About American Politics."
- New Books in Political Science: Podcast.
- Seth Masket: "What The Decline of Partisanship Would Look Like"
- Matt Yglesias: "How We Got So Polarized On Abortion"
- Matt Yglesias: "Don't Expect the Democrats' History of Moderating to Repeat in the GOP."
- Tyler Cowan (Marginal Revolution): "Should We Give Bill Clinton a Tenured Professorship?"
- Seth Masket: "Bill Clinton, You're No Hans Noel"
- Bryan Caplan: "The Dimensionality, Evolution, and Influence of Punditry"
- The Atlantic's Daily Dish: "How Much Does Punditry Matter?"
- Timothy B. Lee: "Intellectuals and Political Coalitions"
- Matt Yglesias: "Punditry as a Vocation"
- Enik Rising: "Where Does Ideology Come From?"
- Seth Masket: "What is Ideology? Hans Noel and the Idea of the Coalition Merchants"
The Party Decides: Presidential Nominations Before and After Reform
2008. With Marty Cohen, David Karol and John Zaller (University of Chicago Press)
Throughout the contest for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, politicians and voters alike worried that the outcome might depend on the preferences of unelected superdelegates. This concern threw into relief the prevailing notion that -- such unusually competitive cases notwithstanding -- people, rather than parties, should and do control presidential nominations. But for the past several decades, The Party Decides shows, unelected insiders in both major parties have effectively selected candidates long before citizens reached the ballot box.
Tracing the evolution of presidential nominations since the 1790s, this volume demonstrates how party insiders have sought since America's founding to control nominations as a means of getting what they want from government. Contrary to the common view that the party reforms of the 1970s gave voters more power, the authors contend that the most consequential contests remain the candidates' fights for prominent endorsements and the support of various interest groups and state party leaders. These invisible primaries produce frontrunners long before most voters start paying attention, profoundly influencing final election outcomes and investing parties with far more nominating power than is generally recognized.
- Ryan Lizza (The New Yorker): "Life of The Party: Can the G.O.P. save itself?"
- Greg Marx (Columbia Journalism Review): "How to Understand the Invisible Primary"
- Reed Richardson (The Nation): "Toward Better Invisible Primary Converage: Fewer Polls, More Policy"
- Greg Marx (Columbia Journalism Review): "Q&A: Poli Sci Blogger John Sides"
- Ezra Klein (The Washington Post): "The Party is Deciding"
- Kevin Drum (Mother Jones): "Rick Perry and the Invisible Primary"
- Andrew Sullivan (The Dish): "Watch the Endorsements"
- Chris Hayes (MSNBC): "Up With Chris Hayes"
- Jonathan Chait (New York Magazine): "Does the GOP Elite Still Decide? It's Debatable"
- Nate Silver (FiveThirtyEight): "Pondering Perry's Electability"
- Nate Silver (FiveThirtyEight): "Romney Leads Endorsement Race"
- Nate Silver (FiveThirtyEight): "A `Radical Centrist' View on Election Forecasting"
- Nate Silver (FiveThirtyEight): "Did Gingrich's Win Break the Paradigm?"
- John Sides (FiveThirtyEight): "History May Point Toward More Conservative G.O.P. Nominee"
- Mark Blumenthal (Huffington Post): "GOP Power Outsiders Souring on Perry, Warming to Romney"
- Mark Blumenthal (Huffington Post): Rick Perry Polls Best On Electability, But Do Voters Really Care?"
- Mark Blumenthal (Huffington Post): "Mitt Romney Still Preferred To Newt Gingrich By Power Outsiders"
- Mark Blumenthal (Huffington Post): "HuffPost-Patch GOP Power Outsiders: Bachmann, Perry Gaining The Most Ground In Presidential Race"
- Larry Sabato (The Wall Street Journal): "Do Endorsements Matter?"
- The Economist: "Dead Man Moonwalking"
- Reihan Salam (National Review Online): "Hans Noel on the Invisible Primary"
- Pierre-Louis Rolle (Mediapart): Rick Santorum dégage la piste pour Mitt Romney
- Brad Plumer (WonkBlog): "Why Christie's Endorsement of Romney Matters"
- Jay Cost (The Weekly Standard): "Welcome to the Invisible Primary"
- Henry Farrell (The Monkey Cage): "What is a Party in American Politics?"
- Matt Yglesias: "The GOP's Tough Decision."
- Mark (Hot Air): "The Invisible Primary"
- Patrick Appel (Andrew Sullivan/The Daily Beast): "The Invisible Primary"
- Jonathan Bernstein (A Plain Blog About Politics): "Parties and Nominations"
- Jonathan Ladd (CNN.com): "What's fueling Romney's Success?"
- Seth Masket (Enik Rising): "Party Insiders and the Invisible Primary"
- John Sides (The Monkey Cage): "The Importance of the Invisible Primary"
- John Sides (The Monkey Cage): "A Cranky Reader and I Discuss the 2012 GOP Primary."
- Andrew Therriault (CSDI): "The Importance of Competent Campaigns"
Which Long Coalition: The Creation of the Anti-Slavery Coalition
2013. Party Politics November 2013 vol. 19 no. 6 962-984. Published online before print February 27, 2012, doi: 10.1177/1354068811436031.
How are party coalitions shaped and reshaped? Elected officials choose coalitions to win elections, but they must work to maintain those coalitions. Non-elected political actors, advancing an ideology at odds with the party coalition, can undermine the party. This article explores this possibility in the case of partisan change on slavery in the Antebellum United States. Intellectuals in 1850 divided into two camps over slavery and the other major issues of the day at a time when slavery cross-cut the two parties in Congress. The ideological division matches one that develops in Congress a decade later, suggesting that the parties responded not just to electoral incentives, but also to this elite division.
As a conference paper, this piece won the APSA Political Organizations and Parties Section/Party Politics Award for best paper at the APSA Annual Meeting.
A Theory of Political Parties: Groups, Policy Demands and Nominations in American Politics
2012. With Kathleen Bawn, Marty Cohen, David Karol, Seth Masket and John Zaller. Perspectives on Politics. Vol. 10. No. 3.
Winner of the 2013 Heinz I Eulau Award for best article to appear in Perspectives on Politics.
Winner of the 2014 Jack Walker Award for best article on political parties, given by the Political Organizations and Parties organized section of the American Political Science Association.
This article offers a theory of political parties that places interest groups and activists at its center. This is a departure from standard theories, which have politicians at the center. As we theorize them, parties no longer compete to win elections by giving voters the policies voters want. Rather, as coalitions of intense policy demanders, they have their own agendas and aim to get voters to go along.
Tea Party Influence: A Story of Activists and Elites
2012. With Michael Bailey and Jonathan Mummolo. American Politics Research.
The Coalition Merchants: The Ideological Roots of the Civil Rights Realignment
2012. Journal of Politics Vol. 74, No. 1, pp. 156-173.
Over the course of the twentieth century, the Democratic and Republican parties have reversed positions on racial issues. This reversal is credited to a variety of factors, chief among them strategic decisions on the part of party leaders competing for votes. An original dataset of the opinions expressed by political thinkers in leading magazines and newspapers is used to develop a measure of ideological positions parallel to NOMINATE scores for members of Congress. Results show that the current ideological pattern, in which racial and economic liberalism are aligned together, emerged among political intellectuals at least 20 years before it appeared in congressional voting. The finding is consistent with the view that ideology shapes party coalitions.
Serving Two Masters: Using Referenda to Assess the Relationship between Voters and Legislators
2012. (Available online March 2, 2011.) With Seth Masket. Political Research Quarterly.
The "Unfriending Problem": The Consequences of Friendship Attrition for Causal Estimates of Social Influence
2011. (Available online June16, 2011.) With Brendan Nyhan. Social Networks. Vol. 33. No. 3. 211-218
- Barbara R. Jasney (Science): "Editor's Choice: Not Contagious After All?"
- Dave Johns (Slate): "Disconnected? We've heard that obesity and divorce can be passed from one person to another. Critics now wonder how the 'social contagion' studies ever passed peer review."
- Gina Koleta (The New York Times): "Catching Obesity From Friends May Not Be So Easy
Cooperative Party Factions in American Politics
2010. With Gregory Koger and Seth Masket. American Politics Research: Vol. 38 No. 1 pp. 33-53.
Partisan Webs: Information Exchange and Party Networks
2009. With Gregory Koger and Seth Masket. British Journal of Political Science: Vol. 39 pp. 633–6537.
Ten Things Political Scientists Know that You Don't
2010. The Forum. Volume 8, Issue 3, Pages 1-19, ISSN (Online) 1540-8884, DOI: 10.2202/1540-8884.1393, October 2010.
- Ezra Klein
- Brendan Nyhan: "Hans Noel on the contributions of political science"
- Seth Masket (Enik Rising): "How To Teach Political Science"
- Enik Rising: "Two Must-Reads"
- ProgressToolbox: "Things Political Scientists Know"
- Jon Bernstein (The New Republic): "Ten Things Political Scientists Know that You Don't"
Don't Look to a Third Party Candidate
2011. with Seth Masket. op-ed in the Los Angeles Times. August 11, 2011.
Listening to the Coalition Merchants: Measuring the Intellectual Influence of Academic Scribblers
2007. The Forum: Vol. 5 : No. 3, Article 7.
WORK IN PROGRESS
Issues versus Ideology in Party Competition Racial Intolerance and the Right in 19 Democracies (With Paula Ganga)
The power of populist political appeals has been on the rise in Europe as the effects of the financial crisis have taken their toll on increasing numbers of voters. Racist and anti-immigrant attitudes are generally associated with the political right, but they do not have to be. Empirically, the association varies from country to country. This paper argues that the way in which the party system shapes ideology in a country determines how issues will be related to the left-right divide. Traditional views on the place of extremist parties within the political spectrum claim that the number of parties will result from the number of issues relevant in the society plus one (Lijphart 1984) and the success of extremist parties will depend on the relevance of the right wing agenda in the context of specific societal cleavages. Yet if the political space in which parties compete is an ideological space (Hinich and Munger 1994), one in which voters’ lack of information will be replaced with ideological cues when making decisions (Downs 1957), then the association between voters’ intolerance and voting for the Right will be strengthened. Using the latest data from the World Values Survey from 19 advanced democracies, this research will estimate individual-level preferences with regards to specific discriminated groups within a society. The individual-level data on intolerance and opinions on the Right will be paired with country-level factors assessing the influence of rightist parties. The results support the hypothesis that personal identification with the Right in the presence of ideological elements from the national arena dramatically increases racial intolerance levels. Similarly, the number of electoral parties will be positively associated with an increase in intolerance. Additionally, the periodic resurgence of right wing extremist parties from the 1980s to the present and the strengthening of their message’s appeal will also point to the ideological nature of the political space. The association between racism and the right will grow as these parties grow. Finally, the results also support the hypothesis that ideology replaces information through the effect of self-reported levels of interest in politics on intolerance. For voters of different levels of information the association with the Right will vary with the number of political parties in the system.
Presidential nomination politics has often revealed schisms within the party coalitions. But are these divisions long-standing or temporary? Do they reflect a chaotic party or a coordinating one? I use a dataset of more than 8000 presidential nomination endorsements from 1972 to 2008 to identify the network of support in the nominating party, as well as the key players in that dynamic. I then apply social networks analysis techniques, including exponential random graph models, to explain those networks. Analysis gives insight into who is important, what groups are stable, and what characteristics lead them to act together
From George McGovern
to John Kerry: State-level models of presidential primaries, 1972-2004
(With Marty Cohen and John Zaller) (Presented at APSA 2003 and MPSA 2004, APSA 2010)
After the 1968 Democratic convention, a series of reforms were put into practice for presidential nominations that fundamentally changed the way we nominate candidates for that office. Initial analysis of the process (see esp. Bartels 1982) suggested that dynamic factors such as momentum dominate the process. We apply a set of common models of both dynamic and static factors to all presidential primary contests since the McGovern-Fraser reforms. We attempt to detect momentum effects but also the effects of ideological positioning, money, media and elite endorsements. Our model also accounts for the multi-candidate nature of these races in ways that earlier work has not. We discover that the notion of momentum has changed considerably since Carter first demonstrated its impact, and that today it tends to favor the insider rather than helping unknowns leap to prominence.
Without a Watchdog:
The Effect of Quality News Coverage on Congressional Polarization
(With Marty Cohen and John Zaller) (Presented at APSA 2003, WPSA 2004, APSA 2004)
We consider the relationship between quality media coverage of members of Congress and the nature of representation. We find that were media coverage is of "high quality" (using a variety of measures), voters appear to exercise a delegate model of representation, in which MC's voting behavior closely maps constituent preferences. But where coverage is poor, voters may not have the information needed to hold MC's accountable, and those members operate under a responsible party government model, in which MC's voting behavior follows the party line. We test several implications of the mechanisms implied by this explanation of the empirical pattern.