Carnegie Mellon University

Morris Fiorina, "Unstable Majorities, Party Sorting, and the 2014 American Electorate"

Thursday, December 4, 2014, 4:30-5:30pm, Adamson Wing, Baker Hall 136A

Elections in the 21st Century show a level of majority instability not seen since the 19th Century.  An important contributing factor is governmental overreach: when a party wins an election they govern in a manner that alienates the marginal members of their electoral coalitions who fail to support them in the next election.  Overreach is not new but it has become endemic because of party sorting--the close alignment of issues and ideology with partisanship.

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Morris P. Fiorina is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Wendt Family Professor of Political Science at Stanford University. His current research focuses on elections and public opinion with particular attention to the quality of representation: how well the positions of elected officials reflect the preferences of the public.

During the course of his forty-year career Fiorina has published numerous articles and books on national politics including Congress—Keystone of the Washington Establishment (Yale University Press, 1977), Retrospective Voting in American National Elections (Yale University Press, 1981), and Divided Government (Allyn & Bacon, 1992). The Personal Vote: Constituency Service and Electoral Independence, coauthored with Bruce Cain and John Ferejohn (Harvard University Press, 1987), won the 1988 Richard F. Fenno Prize. He is also coeditor of Continuity and Change in House Elections (Stanford University Press and Hoover Press, 2000). The third edition of his 2004 groundbreaking book Culture War: The Myth of a Polarized America (with Samuel J. Abrams and Jeremy C. Pope) was published in 2011. Most recently he coedited Can We Talk? The Rise of Rude, Nasty, Stubborn Politics (Pearson, 2013).

Fiorina has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences. He has served on the editorial boards of more than a dozen journals on political science, law, political economy, and public policy. From 1986 to 1990 he was chairman of the Board of Overseers of the American National Election Studies.

Fiorina received his BA degree from Allegheny College and his MA and PhD from the University of Rochester. He lives in Portola Valley, California.

Sponsored by the Center for International Relations and Politics.

Morris Fiorina
Morris Fiorina
Morris Fiorina
Morris Fiorina