FPRI Roundup | 5 Articles Reflecting on the Election

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October 28, 2016

Bi-weekly the Fels Policy Research Initiative directs public leaders and policymakers toward Penn's scholarly research that seeks to improve their best practice. We are happy to team with FPRI to bring you the latest in policy research.

As the presidential campaign season winds down, we take a look at some new research about elections and democracy. 

Debate watching, in depth
The Annenberg Public Policy Center recently released a white paper discussing debate viewership, in depth. Despite increased access to television and ways of watching the debates, the proportion of households watching debates has declined since 1960. 

What if voting were mandatory? *
This paper looks at the effects of compulsory voting. One interesting takeaway: "Citizens with low levels of education are more likely to be cognitively engaged with the political process when voting is mandatory."

How urban districts are disadvantaged in national/state lawmaking 
It's not just the Senate, but the House, that's anti-urban, according to the author of this paper. "Because left-leaning voters reside in dense, urban areas, their favored candidates waste comparatively more votes in winning their districts than do victorious candidates with different or opposing views in suburban, exurban, and rural districts."

Why we are probably stuck with a two-party system *
The author of this article suggests that several factors -- ambition, policy and the presidency -- lead the United States to remain a two-party system.

What do people want from Congress? *
A cross-disciplinary team from Penn found that citizens elect Congress members based on their views of national issues, despite congress' role representing the public at a local level.



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