For Support Of Research On Congressional Primaries
Type of SupportProject
Congressional primaries are the great under-studied part of American democracy. Big media almost never pay for exit polls in congressional districts, and there is plenty of evidence that the primary system is one of the major factors at the root of polarization. Yet very little is known about primary voters. Working with the biggest and most well-respected exit polling companies, Brookings will collect exit poll data in 20 congressional districts during the 2016 congressional primaries. The aim will be to help answer many questions about primary voters—their ideology, issue preferences, and intensity of participation in politics—and the effects these voters have on polarization.
About the Grantee
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Grants to this Grantee
for support of research on Congress
The Brookings Institution conducts independent, in-depth research that leads to pragmatic and innovative policy solutions. This grant enables the Brookings Governance Studies program to continue its research and analysis related to Congress and its ability to fulfill its constitutional and problem-solving responsibilities. The research team led by Senior Fellow Molly Reynolds will explore a range of congressional reforms, including ongoing efforts to modernize the House of Representatives and big-picture questions about the future of the Senate and its place in our democratic system. Other areas of focus include budget and appropriations process reform; congressional oversight; and congressional capacity, productivity, demographics, and related issues.
for research on federal government outsourcing
This grant supports a joint project between the Brookings Institution and the Niskanen Center to reevaluate federal government outsourcing from both conservative and liberal perspectives. Brookings and Niskanen will conduct transpartisan research focused on how decades-long outsourcing of federal government functions has diminished U.S. government capacity and damaged democratic governance. Previous analyses of government failures across both Republican and Democratic administrations have paid insufficient attention to how the growing gap between federal workforce and workload since 1960 has been made up largely by outside contractors, resulting in critical inadequacies in government staffing and state capacity. This study will examine problems and consequences of outsourcing, and propose practical remedies, by addressing fundamental research questions that would benefit most from even-handed approaches by both left and right.
for the Future of Democracy Project
Today’s hyperpartisan approach to politics is creating gridlock in Congress and division in the public. Political and social institutions are less and less able to function as gatekeepers and guardrails against rogue candidates and anti-social behavior. Extreme polarization makes compromising on differences and sharing the country increasingly difficult. Truth is contested ground. Facts are under attack. In a word, the United States is seeing a mounting crisis of governability. In response to these challenges, the Future of Democracy project will contribute research, writing, and recommendations on improving the governability of American society.