Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Why do Americans vote for divided government?

UPDATED: 17-April-2017*
I hate divided government and cannot wait to vote for it again
Since the end of WWII, including the 2014 midterms, there have been 34 federal elections in the United States.  Over that time Americans elected divided government 22 times. As a consequence, we have chosen a divided government state for 44 of the intervening 71 years or 62% of the time.

As 2014 2016 comes to a close we are in the fourth sixth year of our most recent iteration of federal divided government. We have a Democratic President, a Democratic Republican majority in the Senate, and a Republican majority in the House of Representatives. Democrat Barack Obama will be our President through 2016.  History and recent polls tell us there is no realistic probability that Republicans will lose majority control of the House in the 2014 mid-terms through the 2016 elections.* We will continue to “enjoy” divided government for the rest of President Obama's term. The only question now is whether Republicans can both take the Presidency and maintain majority control in the Senate with Donald Trump as their nominee. That seems unlikely. [It was a good divided government run. Back to the drawing board for 2018]

 One of the more interesting political science questions about divided government is the question of why the American electorate continues to vote for divided government. It is a simple fact that in the modern era we elect a divided government far more often than not. Why we choose divided government and whether we choose it consciously or accidentally is a subject of analysis and speculation. Is it truly a preference? Is it a statistical artifact?  Is it the result of conscious strategic voting?  Or is it the expression of a subconscious preference from an inchoate confused electorate?

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Investors Love Divided Government
CNBC 25th Anniversary Edition

Amanda Drury on CNBC 25th Anniversary
This week CNBC celebrated their 25th anniversary on the air. The Dividist finds a higher signal to noise ratio at CNBC than most cable news networks, so it has often served as a primary source on this blog. We would be remiss if we let CNBC's 25th anniversary pass without taking note and highlighting a few of the Dividist Paper's Greatest CNBC hits.

CNBC 25th anniversary