Punching a Hole in the Big Boys’ Political Science Paradigm

Punching a Hole in the Big Boys’ Political Science Paradigm

Linda Killian’s book, The Swing Vote  is stirring up the national conversation about independent voters.  Last week, Ruy Teixeira, a DP operative and the author of  The Emerging Democratic Majority (2002) wrote a scathing and self serving review of the book in which he asserts that Linda’s book is based on “the greatest myth in American politics: that independents are actually independent. They are not,” says Teixeira.

James Taranto, writing in the Wall Street Journal, takes apart some of Teixeira’s assertions about who indies are and are not, and his slippery use of polling data.

Linda responded in a Daily Beast piece: Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics: How Ruy Teixeira Got it Wrong on ‘Swing Vote’.  Referring to Teixeira’s charge that indies are a myth, Killian has this to say: “Such a charge is larger than just one book and goes to the heart of what is wrong with our political system and with the party and the media elite who control it.  They don’t believe there is room for the voters….”

On Friday, Jackie Salit, the President of IndependentVoting.org also responded with a piece on the Huffington Post: “Ruy the Day!

Salit comments, “Teixeira argues that voters are defined by who they vote for….  Leaving aside the obvious point that in nearly every election, the only choice voters have is a ballot, or ballots, for one or another major party candidate, but they still feel it is important to maintain their independence.” 

It is an excellent piece—definitely worth a read.  And I couldn’t agree more with Salit’s ending: “The problem with political science, which Teixeira worships, is that it isn’t a science and it’s extremely political.  Killian’s book may have its flaws.  But she did punch a hole in the Big Boys’ prevailing political science paradigm, the one that is strangling the country.  You go, girl!  That’s worth a read right there.”

Hope you will all get involved in the conversation.  Post a comment here, or go to any of the pieces above and add your thoughts!!!

PS  If you missed our discussion with Linda Killian on February 26th, you can listen by calling (218) 844-0952, password 732282#.  To fast forward into the conversation, you can press 2 once you have logged in.

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