John C. Fortier is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he focuses on Congress and elections, election administration, election demographics, voting (and absentee voting), the U.S. presidency, and the Electoral College. He is also continuing his work on the continuity of government.
Before rejoining AEI, Dr. Fortier was director of governmental studies at the Bipartisan Policy Center, and the principal contributor to the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project. He also has taught at Kenyon College, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Delaware, Boston College, and Harvard University.
He is the author and editor of “After the People Vote: A Guide to the Electoral College” (AEI Press, 2004; fourth edition, 2020); “Second-Term Blues: How George W. Bush Has Governed” (Brookings Institution Press, 2007); and “Absentee and Early Voting: Trends, Promises, and Perils” (AEI Press, 2006).
A prolific writer, Dr. Fortier has been published in scholarly journals and the popular press, including Politico and The Hill. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, and he has appeared on ABC News, Bloomberg, BBC News, C-SPAN, CBS News, CNN, Fox News, NBC News’ “Today,” National Public Radio, and “PBS NewsHour,” among others.
Dr. Fortier has a PhD in political science from Boston College and a BA in government from Georgetown University.
How a No Labels candidate might affect outcome of 2024 election
Amid increasing polarization in the United States and the anticipation of a rematch between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, a third-party organization is gaining momentum. The No Labels group has successfully registered 15,000 voters in the pivotal state of Arizona and is on a path to expand its presence to all 50
Voting reforms have minimal partisan impact on electoral turnout
As the 2024 presidential election approaches, politicians are questioning whether certain voting reforms may have impacted the 2020 presidential election. After their 2020 defeat, Republicans have made efforts to reverse an executive order issued by the Biden administration, which aimed to strengthen election accessibility. In a counter move, Democrats have reintroduced their own proposed legislation
Do we need new laws for AI-generated political ads?
It’s the Wild West when it comes to regulating AI-generated political advertising. As new technology explodes, many are questioning whether we need more oversight of ads made with artificial intelligence. Right now, campaign ads don’t have to disclose if they were created or manipulated by AI, and some Democratic lawmakers are hoping to change that.
Republican demands for changes to presidential debates warranted
The Republican National Committee (RNC) voted to leave the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) in 2022 due to what it perceived as biases against its party. Some critics of the RNC decision believe Republican candidates are simply afraid of tough questions and would rather see Fox News hosts as moderators. Straight Arrow News contributor John
Debt ceiling standoff between Biden and GOP must end quickly
On Tuesday, May 16, President Biden met with top Republican and Democratic leaders to deliberate on raising the debt ceiling, underscoring lawmakers’ focus on avoiding default. Though Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) rarely see eye to eye, sources say they understand that a deal must be hammered out. Straight Arrow News contributor John
It’s time for Congress to break the cycle of political payback
Political polarization has split families, ruined friendships, and even decimated swing seats in congressional elections. It’s even become fodder for a recent M&M’s Candy campaign. It’s also created a contentious environment in Washington. When House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) removed Reps. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and Adam Schiff (D-CA) from the Intelligence Committee, Democrats argued it
Social media platforms need new political advertising rules before 2024
Until recently, it’s been the Wild West when it comes to regulating American political ads on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. But in December 2022, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) approved new regulations that require some previously exempt online political advertisements to disclose who paid for those ads. It’s a step in the
Is divided government good for America or bad?
Divided government—when one political party controls the White House and the other controls one or both houses of Congress—has appeared more frequently in recent decades. Before 1968, the government was unified more often than it was divided. Not surprisingly, there’s little consensus on whether divided government, like the one we have now, is a problem
Why the US should not abolish the Electoral College
The recently-passed Electoral Count Act overhauls the process for objecting to electoral votes. The bipartisan bill is designed to close loopholes that could lead to another Jan. 6-type incident that disrupts the electoral count process. Despite the new law, some still think the Electoral College is outdated and should be abolished in favor of a
It’s time to amend the Presidential Succession Act
The U.S. government has several safeguards and protocols in place to guard against a catastrophic attack. Aside from the presidential line of succession, the designated survivor protocol is enacted for State of the Union addresses and Joint Sessions of Congress. But what if the worst happened — a terror attack like 9/11 or a natural
Why does it take so long to get final election results?
Years ago, most election results were available at the end of the night on Election Day, but these days it can take days, even weeks, to find out who won. It could be another day or two before we know which party will control the Senate and both parties are to blame. Republicans are opposed to
How Congress can fix the Electoral College process
Fixing the electoral college process is a bipartisan priority for Congress following the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot. America’s system for electing a president is more complicated than many realize. Voters don’t necessarily elect a president; they elect presidential electors. The Electoral Count Reform Act aims to close loopholes that could be exploited to interfere
Biden’s low ratings signal bad news for Democrats in November
President Biden’s plummeting approval ratings are bad news for Democrats hoping to buck history and avoid big losses in the midterm elections. The fact that approximately a million voters have switched to the Republican Party in the last year is another sign of growing dissatisfaction with the Biden administration. Straight Arrow News contributor John Fortier
What can we learn from 2020 election? And what can we do about it?
Looking back on the 2020 election, regardless of what you think about the outcome, we have plenty to learn from a primary and general election during a pandemic. Yes, record turnout is certainly an achievement, especially with COVID raging nationwide, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for some fixes. Straight Arrow News contributor John
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