You’ve had a curious year in 2017 — at least, those of you who read us at TMC. You and your fellow readers have explored a wide range of research-based political science analyses of everything from populism to pop culture. To no one’s surprise, you were especially interested in analyses of the actions of Donald Trump, our 45th president, who took office as the year opened. We thank you for your curiosity and hope to have you along in the coming year.
Until then, here are our 10 most widely read posts of the year:
10. President Trump claims the FBI is tainted and its reputation in tatters. This graph shows he’s wrong. David Lewis boiled down research about the reputations of federal agencies to reveal an agency considered very conservative and highly skilled by those most in the know.
9. What’s going on with Qatar? In June, four Arab nations broke relations with Qatar. Kristian Coates Ulrichsen had seen the crisis coming and had already delivered an analysis.
8. How low can Trump’s approval rating go? John Sides launched this popular forecasting tournament in February, when Trump’s approval rating hit an all-time low for an incoming president. Spoiler: It went lower.
7. President Trump just threatened Germany over trade. Here’s what you need to know. At the end of May, Wade Jacoby explained the German policies and capital flow behind the trade spat.
6. It’s time to bust the myth. Most Trump voters were not working class. Nicholas Carnes and Noam Lupu broke it down for us: While about 70 percent of Trump voters didn’t have college degrees, they were nevertheless relatively affluent.
5. Racism motivated Trump voters more than authoritarianism. Thomas Wood examined the ANES data and discovered the same thing several other of our authors found: Racial attitudes were the biggest motivation to vote for Trump.
4. Thanks to Trump, Germany says it can’t rely on the United States. What does that mean? Our own Henry Farrell explained that not just Germany but many nations may not want to depend entirely on a country that can elect a president as erratic as Trump — and that the global balance of power may start to shift.
3. Trump won’t allow you to use iPads or laptops on certain airlines. Here’s why. Henry Farrell and Abraham Newman explained that the real reason might not be terrorism, but trade retaliation.
2. This is what Trump voters said when asked to compare his inauguration crowd with Obama’s. Brian Schaffner and Samantha Luks checked to see how much partisan polarization affects what people say they see. The answer: A lot.
1. In a new poll, half of Republicans say they would support postponing the 2020 election if Trump proposed it. This survey by Ariel Malka and Yphtach Lelkes produced a striking reaction to a hypothetical situation. The question is what would happen were Trump to seriously propose postponing the election, likely triggering a torrent of opposition.
So what’s coming in 2018? The midterm elections, of course, but also much more. Whatever it might be, we’ll help you think about it. Happy new year!