Read Stuff, You Should: Midterm Cleanup

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.
Read More.
a | A

Happy Birthday to Kerry Conran, 50.

The elections may be over (though some of the counts continue), but what's never over is the need for the good stuff:

1. Citizens are somewhat polarized. They think citizens are very polarized -- and the more polarized they are, the more they overestimate everyone else's polarization. Got it? Leaf Van Boven and David Sherman explain in the New York Times. Sounds right; I see a lot of highly partisan people (including commenters!) who simply cannot believe that not everything is written or said explicitly to further partisan goals.

2. The Mischiefs of Faction gang provides perspective, as political scientists do: Hans Noel, Seth Masket and Jonathan Ladd.

3. Another political scientist checks in: Matthew Dickinson's postmortem at his Presidential Power blog. All of us (including me yesterday) emphasize the same thing: This is what happens in midterm elections. But there's more to it than that.

4. Plus an important pre-election item I missed at the Upshot, Lynn Vavreck looks at how the economy (and perceptions of the economy) affect elections.

5. Rick Hasen at Election Law Blog: "Personally, I'd love to junk the remaining [touch-screen] machines being used in elections in this country and go to nationally mandated precinct scanned optically scanned ballots."

6. Philip Klein of the Washington Examiner argues that Republicans should be willing to risk future elections to win substantive policy gains.

7. While Reihan Salam at Slate explains why they're not likely to do so.

And for my obsessions, the good news via The Washington Post's Reid Wilson is that an 18-year-old was elected to the West Virginia legislature. The bad news? She's dynastic.

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