… is this new paper in the American Political Science Review by Gregory A. Huber, Seth J. Hill, and Gabriel S. Lenz. The APSR advertises this paper (in a mass e-mail) with this headline: “Average voter is unable to accurately assess politicians, new research shows.” Yep. (Warning: I’ve yet to read the paper. I’m judging it here by its cover, so to speak.)
Actually, not only is Bryan, I’m sure, utterly unsurprised by these findings, so too would be Jim Buchanan, Anthony Downs, Gordon Tullock and every other public-choice scholar worth his or her salt. I quickly emphasize that the ready understanding of this proposition by public-choice scholars in no way diminishes the importance of such research as that of Huber, Hill, and Lenz. A continual checking of the facts – especially the facts that, while perhaps well-known to specialists, are controversial to broader audiences – is imperative.