November 13, 2018

Matthew Green, professor, politics, published commentary in the Monkey Cage blog on whether the election results constituted a “blue wave.”

Green also wrote for Vox on party leadership following midterm elections.

Green was also quoted in the National Catholic Register on the correlation between party and position on abortion.

Green also published commentary in LegBranch on the stability in House GOP leadership contests.

Were Tuesday’s election results the “blue wave” Democrats were hoping for? Democrats won control of the House of Representatives and won seven governorships. But even with Senate outcomes still unclear in Arizona and Florida, Democrats lost several seats in the Senate, and their gains in state legislative chamberswere below the historical average.

Still, Nate Cohn of the New York Times estimated that the Democrats’ national popular vote was likely to be as high or higher than “wave” elections of 1994, 2006 and 2010. Looking at only House races, Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report wrote that it was a “powerful, if uneven wave.” Still others point to Senate Democratic wins in red states such as Montana and West Virginia and Democrats’ success in beating several incumbents in suburban GOP strongholds across the country. ...

Continue reading in The Washington Post


Now that the midterm elections are behind them, several members of Congress have thrown their hats in the ring to run for party leadership posts. Most of the attention has been given to the election for speaker of the House, which current Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi appears likely to win, though she faces some resistance within her own party.

Other party leadership positions are being contested too, however. Republicans will be selecting their top leader, a contest between Republicans Kevin McCarthy (CA) and Jim Jordan (OH). Democrats, meanwhile, are facing elections for five posts: majority whip, assistant leader, Democratic Caucus chair and vice chair, and chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. ...

Continue reading in Vox .

... Matthew Green, a politics professor at The Catholic University of America and a specialist on congressional leadership, told the Register that a major shift has taken place since the 1990s, and today the “correlation between party and position on abortion is almost perfect.”

However, he explained, the presence of nominally pro-life or pro-abortion majorities does not necessarily translate into major legislation on the life issues being passed. Parties that do not have full control of government end up in “symbolic vote-taking” that pleases the base, but such gestures often stop once they actually have to govern.

“The perspectives of parties change when they have unified control of government, as opposed to when they don’t,” he said. The GOP House passed a flurry of pro-life legislation during the Obama years that had no chance of becoming law, and Green said he expected House Democrats might follow a similar pattern. ...

Continue reading in the National Catholic Register

The House Republican Conference met Wednesday to choose their top leaders for the 116th Congress.  Despite the fact that the midterm elections cost them between 30 and 40 seats and, importantly, majority control, the results of the Conference voting were largely anti-climactic.  Only two top leadership posts were contested: one for chair of the Republican Policy Committee, and the other for minority leader, in which front-runner Kevin McCarthy easily bested Freedom Caucus favorite Jim Jordan 159 to 43.

This relative consensus and stability in leadership selection is somewhat surprising for a couple of reasons.  For one thing, the House GOP has historically been more prone to intra-party conflict in leadership selection than Democrats.  Since 1961, more than twice as many contested leadership races or revolts against sitting leaders happened within the House Republican Party as occurred among House Democrats during that time. ...

Continue reading in LegBranch .

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