Opting Out of Congress: Partisan Polarization and the Decline of Moderate Candidates

February 22, 2018 | NH Institute of Politics

Danielle M. Thomsen, Ph.D. will discuss her latest book, Opting Out of Congress. Her work draws on a wide array of data to show that ideological moderates are less likely to run for and remain in Congress than those at the extremes. Thomsen suggests that the personal and career benefits of congressional service have diminished for moderate members as the parties have drifted apart, turning the once desirable political center into a lonely and lowly place to be. According to her book, the future of bipartisanship in Congress will depend on reformers’ encouragement of moderate congressional candidates.

Danielle M. Thomsen, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of political science at Syracuse University. Her research has been published in the Journal of Politics, Legislative Studies Quarterly, and Political Research Quarterly, and it has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other media outlets. In 2015, she received the E.E. Schattschneider Award for the best dissertation in American politics. She has received financial support from the National Science Foundation, the American Association of University Women, and the Dirksen Congressional Center.

February 22, 2018 from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

NHIOP Auditorium