The Science of Getting Things Wrong

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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1. Lee Drutman at Vox on being targeted with anti-Semitic material -- at his home. I don't even know what to say about this kind of thing, which is happening to Muslims, blacks, Latinos, Jews, women and more. But can't just ignore. 

2. Andrew Rudalevige at the Monkey Cage on the Electoral College.

3. Christina Bejarano on Latinas in the 2016 elections

4. Matt Jarvis on 2016 and instability.

5. Dan Drezner on whether political science got it wrong in 2016.

6. Also, Seth Masket at Vox on political science and 2016. Let me add a couple of comments. First of all, I'd say political science did get a couple of things pretty badly wrong in 2016. Those of us (that is, including me) who study presidential nominations turned out to be poor guides to the Republican nomination process this time, even while the Democratic side played out pretty much as we normally describe it. To a large extent in my view, that was partially because standard (political science) understandings of the news media turned out to be poor predictors of how the process would be covered. We've already started to look at what happened -- whether we've been wrong all along, or whether our old explanations were fine then but the world changed, or if it was some combination of both. But at the same time, there are plenty of studies from various subfields within political science that turned out to be extremely helpful in understanding what was happening this year -- and what will happen next. As Masket and Drezner point out, predicting elections, either from "fundamentals" or from polls, is only a very, very small part of what political science does.

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This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Brooke Sample at bsample1@bloomberg.net