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The State of the Parties: Preview

I am taking the long way to the State of the Parties conference at the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics on the campus of the University of Akron.  Drove to Milwaukee to fly to Philadelphia to fly to Akron.  Not my most efficient decision, but it was a cheap one and since the Bliss Institute is paying for my ride, I figured I could try to save them a bit of cash.

I have long read and enjoyed the volumes that come from this conference and am excited to be presenting the first paper tomorrow morning (here it is) on a panel that is apparently being recorded for later broadcast on C-SPAN.  The paper, co-authored with Ted Carmines and Mike Ensley, examines why American political parties can’t get beyond the left-right divide, highlighting why a centrist third party rising is a non-starter, why the parties have a hard time appealing to potential supporters whose views don’t perfectly match the positions the parties are offering, and why merely focusing on maximizing the turnout of their own core supporters is not enough to sustain a durable majority. We’re excited to present the paper and get some great feedback from a really great slate of scholars who are attending the meeting.

Here are all of the papers that are being presented over the next few days. Once again, John Green and his great team have put together a wonderful set of papers. I will post some highlights in this space on Friday.

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