Associate Professor of Political Science
The author of No Middle Ground: How Informal Party Organizations Control Nominations and Polarize Legislatures (University of Michigan Press, 2009), Seth Masket is not only a respected scholar, he’s also a popular blogger and tweeter. Political junkies follow him at Enik Rising, on his Twitter feed (@smotus) and on occasional dispatches at the Huffington Post, where he comments on everything from Colorado’s political caucuses to the effects of national health care legislation on individual campaigns. Masket’s observations occasionally go viral. When he researched the hot media topic of summer 2010—“Would congressional Democrats suffer due to high unemployment?”—the graph he created for his blog was quickly referenced by fellow bloggers and The New York Times. His influence extends beyond the blogosphere: In Denver’s 2011 mayoral race, he had former students working on all of the major candidates’ campaigns.
Masket is at work on a new book studying “the ways that political parties adapt to reforms that are designed to kill them.” His research shows that the parties have put the onslaughts to good use. “We have a long tradition in this country of passing anti-party reforms but, in just about every case,” he said, “I find evidence of parties adapting and emerging just as strong on the other side.”