The Logic of Congressional Elections
Is America really divided between Red and Blue states, or are most states more heterogeneous than this popular dichotomy suggests? Does one or the other political party demonstrate an edge in open seat elections where no candidate enjoys the advantages of incumbency and the parties compete on a level field? How significant is electoral competitiveness (i.e., where only a small share of the vote separates winner from loser) as an explanation of voter turnout in congressional elections? Students will analyze data to answer these questions and also discover the significance of intervening variables such as incumbency, region, and presidential coattails in quantitative and qualitative analyses.
- Distinguish between antecedent, independent, intervening and dependent variables.
- Anticipate biases in data selection that might skew hypothesis testing.
- Practice techniques of the visual presentation of data.