In January, TMC editor Michael Tesler reported that, during the government shutdown that began in late 2018, Trump’s approval was sinking — but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s was rising. Perhaps, then, it’s no surprise that in October, Tesler was similarly able to report that the impeachment inquiry, too, was making Pelosi more popular. Apparently, leading the opposition is a good look for the speaker.
And in September, Tesler showed us exactly why congressional Republicans were, to a person, standing by their man. He could probably run the same chart again today to explain the impeachment vote.
Just last week, Paul A. Djupe took a look at how right-wing media stars have been threatening civil war if Trump is removed from office through impeachment. He went on to examine white evangelicals’ deep fears that they would lose their rights under a more secular government — noting that that’s what those evangelicals say they would do to Democrats and atheists, if they could.
TMC editor and Congress-watcher-in-chief Sarah Binder explained why the standoff ended with a win for Democrats and why we shouldn’t expect Republicans to let that happen again soon. (And don’t miss her four takeaways from 2019’s congressional roller coaster ride, with clues about what’s to come in 2020.)
Steven Kull reported on his survey showing that only 4 in 10 Americans favored a border wall. More surprising, he reported that:
The public at large, including Democrats, Republicans and independents, agrees on many immigration reforms that amount to an alternative strategy. Bipartisan majorities favor current proposals in Congress that aim to prevent the hiring of undocumented workers, alongside proposals that would create more opportunities to hire immigrants legally.
Many of you couldn’t stop discussing Sirianne Dahlum, Carl Henrik Knutsen and Tore Wig’s findings that the success of protests depends on who’s doing the protesting. (We saw those r/socialist threads!) As the authors put it:
Industrial workers have been key agents of democratization and, if anything, are even more important than the urban middle classes. When industrial workers mobilize mass opposition against a dictatorship, democratization is very likely to follow.
In April, with India’s parliamentary elections coming up, India and Pakistan vehemently disagreed over what had happened in February, when Pakistan downed an Indian MiG-21 warplane. Had India gotten one of Pakistan’s fighter planes first — or not? Sameer Lalwani and Emily Tallo explained why the dispute was significant for both sides.
Richard J. McAlexander examined data for eight Western European countries and found that “when immigration levels to a country increase, the total number of terrorist attacks increased in that country as well.” He wrote that political rhetoric condemning immigrants might stoke the kind of cultural grievances that lead to such attacks, noting that:
My findings suggest some forms of terrorism may simply be the product of cultural grievances on the part of people who have been radicalized politically, as in the Christchurch mosque terrorist attack, Quebec City mosque attack and the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting.
Bethany Lacina found that superheroes who are women or people of color attract new audiences — without losing the old ones, despite Twitter attacks and right-wing calls for boycotts.
But our most popular post, by far — boosted by Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Ilhan Omar, and doubted by others — was one in which Ayal Feinberg, Regina Branton and Valerie Martinez-Ebers “examined whether there was a correlation between the counties that hosted one of Trump’s 275 presidential campaign rallies in 2016 and increased incidents of hate crimes in subsequent months.” In brief: Yes, compared with counties that did not host such rallies, they did. Read their evidence for yourself.
Happy new decade — and stay with us into the 2020s for more!