I think bias in US electoral institutions is probably a bigger threat to representative government in American than almost anything else. The growing rural bias of the Senate+EC (graphs via @davidshor) nearly ensures Rs will deny Ds fair majoritarian control for at least a decade
Plus, bc of the current bias in the House & 2022 redistricting harms, Ds r very very likely to lose control of Congress. Extrapolating historical trends, current polling indicates they'll be @ 48% in polls on eday. Polarization gets Ds ~1% back. But they need 51.5-52%. (MOE is 6)
When ppl ask me if we are approaching civil war, I tend to say no — Instead, we are rapidly nearing a time when the majority will need 52-53% to win, & a ruling authoritarian minority will enact policies that harm the other 200m+ citizens w/o meaningful electoral accountability
If Rs continue to find marginal electoral success convincing voters that the culture war matters more than policy outcomes (& they keep the Senate filibuster) this could easily be the status quo for the next two decades. The math for any sufficient reform is nearly impossible.
My opinion is a US version of the UK's Troubles is much likelier than outright war or organized separatism—& that the US gov has too much state power to properly "collapse" in our lifetimes, even when democratic accountability functionally disappears soon
Anyway I'm sure all my thinking on this will change/be crystallized/etc in the future and I'm open to debate—I'm just putting it here for posterity
Sorry, to clarify why I attached the plot on generic ballot polling here:

The point is that Dems are rapidly running out of time to do anything about this, and their key actors have failed to realize there's no way to avoid the break-the-glass scenario

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More from @gelliottmorris

27 Jul
.@BenSasse & others have argued that a decline in religiosity in America has left ppl vulnerable to the false spiritual satisfaction of conspiracy theories & sectarianism, eg in QAnon.

But we find the opposite. The least religious are the least credulous:
And it’s not just QAnon; Our Economist/YouGov data show white evangelical Christians are also disproportion likely to believe other conspiracies — eg about the 2020 election, but also about vaccines and the moon landing. True even after controlling for demographics and politics.
Finally, the relationship between church attendance & conspiratorial thinking is positive even if you omit evangelical Christians, though less so. They are driving the trend—but the most religious Americans regardless are more likely to adopt phony theories than the least devout.
Read 4 tweets
19 Jul
This reminds me of the time I was coding in a Starbucks & an 80yr old man, unsolicited & bc I “looked good with computers,” whipped out a chunky 2005-looking Dell laptop & instructed me to remove a “real nasty” webpage his “twin brother” bookmarked. It was hardcore incest porn.
He offered me $50 for my help (and silence, presumably). You know, a single bill pulled out of one of those old man rubber-banded balls of cash. I refused. Then he pushed his walker outside and left with his wife.
I don’t go back there.
Read 4 tweets
17 Jul
Idk, it seems almost impossible to attribute causality of the current covid wave to CDC masking policies vs Delta variant. Our YouGov/Economist survey data suggest the CDC announcement didn’t really even change trends in masking rates for vaccinated or unvaccinated Americans.
People should focus on opinion leaders rather than gov advice — we know support for Trump and news source drives way more masking/vaccination behavior more than attention to news or trust in scientists + institutions. Blame the source of anti-vax opinion before gov guidelines.
Read 6 tweets
13 Jul
A rough point projection is that the Democrats will win 47% of the two-party vote, depending on how you average current polls, in next year's House midterms. That would be a bloodbath—and they'd probably lose the Senate too. (Again all conditional on a R+6 national environment.)
The "conditional" part here is key, since the uncertainty on a point prediction a yr & a half away is like 10 points on vote share. I would note, however, that people objected based on this fallacy in both 2018 and 2020 when fundamentals nailed natl shares
Another point is that once election subversion became a partisan issue, whatever punishment Republicans would have faced for it shrunk dramatically. You can see this in the current polling for the generic House ballot, presidential approval, and partisan fav ratings
Read 4 tweets
9 Jul
Just shy of a majority of Republicans believe states should override the results of the popular vote of their citizens, and a supermajority believes Trump is the rightful president
Some ppl are asking me to clarify that these numbers are from Nov 2020, which is right and I should have put that in the OG tweet (even though it's on the graph already).

But note that updated numbers are similar! 74% of Rs in YouGov/Econ polls say Biden is illegitimate pres.
Read 4 tweets
18 Jun
Going offline for a few weeks to finish my book manuscript and finally get married (after nearly a year delay from covid). See y’all ✌️
by the way (and nobody is paying me to say this) i have found @ScrivenerApp to be an invaluable tool for composing long works of writing. my two tips for writing have long been (a) to go out for aimless walks regularly, like the greeks did, and (b) to learn how to use scrivener
(there is a long and fascinating history of philosophy and walking that is much richer than the story of thales falling down a well (which is potentially fallacious) or than the stuff you hear from the bandwagon Lindy adoptees today. if you’re interested: amazon.com/Philosophy-Wal…)
Read 4 tweets

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