Read Stuff, You Should: Political Ads Do Some Good

Jonathan Bernstein is a Bloomberg View columnist. He taught political science at the University of Texas at San Antonio and DePauw University and wrote A Plain Blog About Politics.
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Happy Birthday to Bob Melvin, 53. Hey, I hadn't realized that Baseball-Reference.com's manager's pages now have replay challenges.

I've been reading references to teams down three games to two that win the last two at home. Note, however, that not all 3-2 deficits are alike. In 2011, for example, the Cardinals had outscored the Rangers 22-19, even though they had been down a game through the first five. Or take 1985: The last Royals World Series team outscored the Cardinals 15-12 through the first five games. That's not the case this time, with the Giants outscoring the Royals 27-15 so far. Doesn't guarantee anything, of course, but it has to be a good indicator. For everyone else? The good stuff:

1. "Much as we dislike them, political ads, especially in midterm elections, convey information to voters about candidates, particularly those who are unknown to most people." That's Lynn Vavreck at the Upshot on the positive role of ads in elections.

2. Thad Krousser in the Los Angeles Times on how to increase voter turnout: Try targeting infrequent voters for a change.

3. Julia Azari at the Mischiefs of Faction blog on the political context faced by Presidents Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

4. What happens when the Senate majority leader ducks tough votes while Republicans demand votes on even non-controversial judges and executive branch nominations? Vulnerable Senate Democrats wind up voting with the party and the president all the time. Oops! Good catch by Niels Lesniewski at Roll Call

5. Jaime Fuller at the Fix on attacks on candidates' names. If those candidates are women, that is.

6. And Mother Jones' Kevin Drum approves of Obama's temperament.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg View's editorial board or Bloomberg LP, its owners and investors.

To contact the author on this story:
Jonathan Bernstein at jbernstein62@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor on this story:
Max Berley at mberley@bloomberg.net