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Center for Policy Studies

Public Affairs Discussion Group

Political Science Department Pre-Election Forecasts

Justin Buchler, Ph.D. - Associate Professor of Political Science at Case Western Reserve University and Colleagues
Friday November 2, 2012
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Dampeer Room
Kelvin Smith Library
Case Western Reserve University

Dear Colleagues:

Long before and, we developed a tradition that members of the political science department would forecast, or perhaps explain why they didn't think it was safe to forecast, results of the election on the Friday before.

Now virtually anybody can find an avalanche of information from which to make their own forecasts. But perhaps we can add some organization and perspective. Justin Buchler, our primary election specialist, will take the lead and other members of the faculty will add their own perspectives. We can discuss everyone's fears and hopes..Maybe we'll agree, and maybe we won't. At least, unlike many discussions, you'll be able to tell who was right very soon. For better or worse!

And this is one topic that participants can affect. Please vote!

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.

In the past, he has also written about campaign finance, and published several pieces on voting technology.

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. 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:

November 9: What Just Happened? Open discussion about the election results, with Joe White, Chair, Department of Political Science.

November 16: Learning from Mad Cows.
With Dr. Pierluigi Gambetti, Professor and Director, Division of Neuropathology and Director, National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center.

November 23: No Session - Thanksgiving Break

November 30: The Medium is the Message: What Happens When Universities Digitize Course Evaluations.
With Timothy J. Fogarty, Professor of Accountancy.

December 7: The “Chicago Boys” Without Pinochet: Privatization and Protest in Chile.
With Diane Haughney, Ph.D.
October 29, 2012

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

Upcoming Events

China Town Hall: Local Connections, National Reflections

A live webcast featuring U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, 7:00 p.m., Mandel Center Building, Case Western Reserve University, 11402 Bellflower Road, Cleveland, OH 44106. Sponsored by the Program in Asian Studies and the Department of Political Science.

Leadership transition in China, trade disputes between China and the United States, and America’s new focus on East Asian Security put the future of U.S.-China relations on the front burner for those interested in business and public policy choices involving the People’s Republic.

Dr. Steven P. Feldman, professor of business ethics at the Weatherhead School of Management, will provide an overview of key issues in U.S.-China business relations. Dr. Paul Schroeder, visiting professor of political science and interim director of the Asian Studies Program, will discuss Chinese domestic issues that impact U.S.-China Relations.

Following their presentations, Ambassador Gary Locke will be interviewed live from Beijing by Stephen A. Orlins, president of the National Committee on U.S. China Relations.

Myths About Youth Voting

A Discussion with Justin Buchler, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Political Science at Case Western Reserve University, Discussant, Jane Platten, Director, Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2012, 4:30-5:45 p.m., Mandel Center Building, Room 115, Case Western Reserve University, 11402 Bellflower Road Bellflower Road, Cleveland, OH 44106. Sponsored by the Schubert Center for Child Studies.

Popular lore attributes the results of the 2008 election to a successful effort by Democrats to mobilize youth voters in favor of Obama, leading to speculation that 2012 will turn on whether or not the Democratic Party can repeat its supposed 2008 success. Data on voter turnout and vote choice indicate otherwise. Voting patterns in 2008 were not noticeably different with respect to age than voting patterns in past elections, and young people remain the least likely age group to vote.

November 2012







































About the Friday Lunch Newsletter

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