2022 Midterm Projection: Fundamentally Republican

I think this is going to be an ugly election cycle for the Democrats. We can expect losses for the president's party in Congress in their first midterm election, and Joe Biden has not done anything to change my expectation. This is compounded by the fact that the economy seems to be the most pressing concern for voters, and inflation is a very difficult issue for policymakers to make go away or minimize. Since inflation is effectively making money less valuable, people that have a lot of money hate it , and even though unemployment is at a record low right, and many people in lower tax brackets have money in their pockets, it doesn't seem to go as far when you have to pay large bills for gas, heating your home or buying groceries.  So I believe we'll see the US House of Representatives swing to Republicans, probably with about 15-20 Democratic seat losses. Oddly, this is not actually that high of a number (Trump's party lost 41 in his only midterm, Obama lost 63 in his

2020 Election Projection: A Biden wave, but Florida is a red state

  The 2016 election fundamentally changed my orientation towards election forecasting. As a political scientist, I spend much of my time up to my eyeballs in data, and I trust that data to guide my understanding of the world and what will happen next. So when Hillary Clinton was up in the national polls, I issued a projection that had her winning , and like nearly anyone else who put their name next to a projection that year, I was wrong. So with humility over that election in mind, here is my current map that has Biden cruising in a dare-I-say wave election.  (Don't worry, there's alot of anxiety behind this confident facade, so if you are looking for downside in the polls or the election procedures skip ahead to the spooky section on the ghosts of 2016.)  A Biden Wave:  In the imagined words of Joe Biden. " Look. The polls have us up. 8 or 9, now I remember the Nixon elections, and if a 8 point win isn't a wave, then I don't know what a wave is anymore. Now, my f

10 Tips for Going on the Political Science Job Market

It’s August, and academics are procrastinating so I’ve seen lots of advice on the job market. A lot of this advice seems good, but it usually comes from tenured professors who last went on the market before the advent of Twitter. So here are ten quick thoughts on my two recent trips to the academic job market: My qualifications for dispensing advice include spending many hours in the belly of the beast. Long term planning. One of the most sobering pieces of advice I got on the market came from Mike Horowitz at Penn, who emphasized to a group of us: “The market is a multi-year process.” This turned out to be the case for me, and the majority of people I have seen go through the market. At Penn we had 5 years of guaranteed funding, so planning for the market should begin in earnest in the second half of the fourth year. Once you lose that guaranteed funding, you’ll need to spend time on finding contingent employment, and anytime that is spent not on research you will not get

Grad school tips

Today, my doctorate from Penn was officially conferred. In honor of this moment, I want to share some knowledge, how to be a graduate student. 1) A political science Ph.D. is a two-part process. The key dividing point is your comprehensive examinations (or field exams, or qualifying exams, or whatever. At Penn they were called "comps", which is the lingo I'll use). I would recommend a different approach to each side of the comps. Before comps, you should take advantage of what a graduate education is, a chance to get paid to read and explore a field of your interest. I took an eclectic collection of courses during my first two years, including an infamous "Great Books" of comparative politics. But what you want to do here is to scrape the surface of all these different possible fields you could be interested in, to see what works for you. A mistake that I've seen many graduate students fall into is being held prisoner by the topic they discussed in their

My Day in Court

The Mostly Colorblind Courtroom Sketch.  During my brief time in Washington, there has been a great deal to learn about our three branches of government. For both the legislative and executive branches, the lesson has been that there is a sprawling infrastructure underneath the politics we observe on the news or C-SPAN. Members of Congress are supported by staffs of varying sizes, as well as nonpartisan agencies, and also interact with outside groups, lobbyists and the media. Congress also spends a great deal of time overseeing the administration. Meanwhile, the administration itself is primarily filled with non-political appointees, who take a longer view than the current 4-year term. As a result "the government" is much more static than campaign rhetoric or the media would lead us to believe. That being said, all of the political appointees in the administration will be fired on January 20, so upheaval is certainly possible. However, on Monday when I went to the Su

The 2016 Projection: Hillary's day finally comes

Clinton 323, Trump 217 Since it became clear that Donald Trump would win the Republican nomination in June, I have been about 80% certain that Hillary Clinton would beat him in the General Election. So I put my money where my mouth is, buying stock in Clinton the day before the Democratic Convention when the price was $0.64 to win $1.00, in essence a 64% chance of winning. Like any good scientist, I was prepared to factor new information into my view. But the real threats to Hillary's candidacy (an indictment from the FBI investigation, a Lehman Brothers like collapse, etc.) never materialized. On Twitter, I doubled down on this confidence a number of times in response to particulary silly moments in the news cycle, such as when Hillary was struck was pneumonia... If you're a bettor, feel free to cash in on this ridiculous news cycle that has Hillary's chances at $0.64 to pay $1 — Alex Garlick (@garlicksauce) September 13, 2016 or wh

Abstract for Belichick, McDaniels, and Patricia (2016)

My early assessment of the Tom Brady suspension as a natural experiment to examine the classic QB vs. system debate. — Alex Garlick (@garlicksauce) September 23, 2016