can't see the images? view this message online.

Center for Policy Studies
Public Affairs Discussion Group

The Invisible Primary or, the 2016 Presidential Race, So Far

Justin Buchler, Ph.D. - Associate Professor of Political Science at Case Western Reserve University
Friday February 13, 2015
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Dampeer Room
Kelvin Smith Library
Case Western Reserve University

Dear Colleagues:

Political scientists and political junkies call it "the invisible primary": the time when candidates are competing for resources and support but not, directly, for votes.

The 2016 invisible primary for President is in full swing.

The leader in Republican polls (Mitt Romney) has already given up, though he never had announced plans to run. There so far seems to be only one serious Democratic candidate, though she has made no announcements. Could we be facing Clinton-Bush II? And if not, what could our choice in November of 2016 look like, instead?

Presidential nomination campaigns are long and complex and often surprise observers. Yet there are common patterns which tell us for what to watch as the campaign proceeds. Join us as elections expert Professor Justin Buchler reports on the contest so far and what might happen next.

All best regards,
Joe White
Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy and Director, Center for Policy Studies

About Our Guest

Justin Buchler studies elections, with an emphasis on legislative elections. He has written extensively about the effects of competitive elections on political institutions. His recently published book, Hiring and Firing Public Officials: Rethinking the Purpose of Elections (Oxford University Press), argues that we should think of elections as employment decisions rather than as markets. Thus, competitive elections do not indicate a healthy democracy, as market analogies suggest. Instead, they indicate a failure of democracy because competitive elections are a poor method of making employment decisions regarding public officials. Consequently, they create perverse incentives and unrepresentative outcomes. His published papers on the topic include “The Social Sub-Optimality of Competitive Elections” (in Public Choice), which received the 2007 Gordon Tullock Prize. His other papers on the topic focus on redistricting.

Currently, Justin Buchler writes about the use of spatial models to study elections. His papers address the role of party influence on candidate position-taking, as well as the impact of valence characteristics, such as competence and honesty.

Where We Meet

The Friday Public Affairs Lunch convenes each Friday when classes are in session, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. We usually meet in the Dampeer Room of Kelvin Smith Library. The Dampeer Room is on the second floor of the library. If you get off the elevators, turn right, pass the first bank of tables, and turn right again. Occasionally we need to use a different room; that will always be announced in the weekly e-mails.

Parking Possibilities

The most convenient parking is the lot underneath Severance Hall. We regret that it is not free. From that lot there is an elevator up to street level (labeled as for the Thwing Center); it is less than 50 yards from that exit to the library entrance. You can get from the Severance garage to the library without going outside. Near the entry gates - just to the right if you were driving out - there is a door into a corridor. Walk down the corridor and there will be another door. Beyond that door you'll find the entrance to an elevator which goes up to an entrance right inside the doors to Kelvin Smith Library.

Friday Lunch Upcoming Topics and Speakers:

February 20: The Warren Commission and the Academy: Exploring Truth in a Political World. With Judge (ret.) Burt W. Griffin.

February 27: When the Police Use Deadly Force. Kevin Nietert, Chief of Police, South Euclid Ohio

March 6: What Explains the Price of Gasoline? With Steven W. Percy, former Chairman and CEO, BP of America.

March 13: Spring Break

March 20: TBD

March 27: Talking Turkey: Some Personal (and Historical) Perspectives on Turkish Politics and Society. With John Grabowski, Krieger-Mueller Associate Professor in Applied History; Senior Vice President for Research and Publications, Western Reserve Historical Society.

April 3: Origins and Prospects of the 'Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. With Karl C. Kaltenthaler, Professor of Political Science, University of Akron.

April 10:
Obama's White House and Management Style: A Recipe for Success or Failure? With David B. Cohen, Professor of Political Science, University of Akron.

April 17: TBD

April 24: TBD
February 9, 2015

If you would like to reply, submit items for inclusion, or not receive this weekly e-mail please send a notice to:

Upcoming Events

The Prison at Guantanamo Bay and America's "Commitment to Justice"

A discussion with Assistant Federal Public Defender Carlos Warner, J.D., Monday February 9, 2015, 4:15-5:45 p.m., Tinkham Veale University Center, Ballroom A, Case Western Reserve University, 11308 Bellflower Road, Cleveland, OH 44106. Sponsored by the Center for Policy Studies.

In his State of the Union address, President Obama proclaimed that, "As Americans, we have a profound commitment to justice -- so it makes no sense to spend three million dollars per prisoner to keep open a prison that the world condemns and terrorists use to recruit." He added that he had worked "to cut the population of GTMO in half... and I will not relent in my determination to shut it down. It's not who we are."

Meanwhile, leading Republican senators have proposed legislation to force Obama to keep the remaining prisoners there.

We can see this as a clash between Congress and the President, or some Democrats and almost all Republicans. But amid that conflict in Washington we should try to understand what happens in the prison at Guantanamo Bay itself. How is the prison run? In Boumediene v. Bush, the Supreme Court ruled that prisoners had access to the federal courts to challenge their confinement. That means they have access to public defenders. How real is that right, and what do public defenders find when they try to represent these clients?

The Selma-Montgomery Voting Rights March: 50th Anniversary Perspectives on a Civil Rights Landmark

A discussion with Diane Phillips-Leatherberry, who marched, and Daniel Clancy, Law, Class of 62, a long-time law school and university administrator who was an FBI agent assigned to the march, program moderated by Jonathan Entin, JD, David L. Brennan Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science at Case Western Reserve University, Monday, February 23, 2015, 12 p.m., Room 158, Case Western Reserve University School of Law, 11075 East Boulevard, Cleveland, OH 44106-7148. Free and open to the public.

February 2015




































About the Friday Lunch Newsletter

If you would like to reply, submit items for inclusion, or not receive this weekly e-mail please send a notice to:

Visit the Public Affairs Discussion Group Web Site.

Center for Policy Studies | Mather House 111 | 11201 Euclid Avenue | Cleveland, Ohio 44106-7109 | 
Phone: 216.368.6730 | Part of the: College of Arts and Sciences
© 2015 Case Western Reserve University | Cleveland, Ohio 44106 | 216.368.2000 | legal notice