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Center for Policy Studies
Public Affairs Discussion Group

A Year Away from the 2016 Election….

Paul Herrnson, Ph.D. - Professor of Political Science at the University of Connecticut
Friday November 6, 2015
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Dampeer Room
Kelvin Smith Library
Case Western Reserve University

Dear Colleagues:

What the Heck is Going On? And what will happen on November 8, 2016? Most attention now is focused on the contests for the Republican and Democratic nominations. Conventional wisdom says Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic candidate – but why is that? The GOP contest looks like a free-for-all. Could the party really get Trumped and, if not, who might win the nomination? What should we look for through the early stages of primaries and caucuses? Could the result be unknown entering the convention in Cleveland? And, once the candidates are chosen, what party is more likely to win? How much will the candidates matter?

Meanwhile there is the small matter of Congress. How strong is the Republican “lock” on the House, and why? Will the new campaign finance system give the GOP a huge advantage? Does the fact that Republicans are defending 24 of the 34 Senate seats at stake give the Democrats a good chance of recapturing the Senate?

It’s fun to talk about the horse race but who wins what will also shape our lives. So it’s a great pleasure to welcome for our discussion Paul Herrnson, author of Congressional Elections: Campaigning at Home and in Washington (7th ed. 2015.) and simply one of the nation’s leading experts on elections, campaigns, polling, and campaign finance.

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

About Our Guest

Paul Herrnson earned his PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his BA at Binghamton University. He is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Connecticut. His primary interests include political parties and elections, money and politics, public opinion, and voting technology and ballot design. He teaches courses on Congressional Elections and other aspects of American politics.

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. Our programs are open to all and no registration is required. 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:

November 13: Why Virtual Schools are Growing So Fast, and What it Might Mean for the Future of Public Education. With Peter Robertson, Senior Vice President of School Operations, Connections Education.

November 20: Integrating the Inner City Through Mixed-Income Development. With Mark Joseph, Associate Professor at MSASS and Director, National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities; Taryn Gross, Program Manager for the Initiative, and Emily Miller, Project Coordinator for the Initiative. Co-sponsored with the Schubert Center for Child Studies. ***Alternate Location: Mandel Community Studies Center Room 115, 11402 Bellflower Road***

November 27: Thanksgiving Break

December 4: Making Clean Energy Work. With Walter Money, Whole House Energy Solutions.

November 2, 2015

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Upcoming Events

The New and Old Politics of Congressional Elections

A discussion with Paul Herrnson, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science at the University of Connecticut.

Thursday November 5, 2015, 4:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m., Case Western Reserve University, Tinkham Veale University Center, Senior Classroom A, 11038 Bellflower Road, Cleveland, OH. This program is sponsored by the Center for Policy Studies.

After years of relative stability – 40 years of uninterrupted Democratic control of the House of Representatives, followed by 12 years of Republican control – congressional elections saw dramatic swings in 2006, 2010, and 2014. The conditions for elections have also changed in highly publicized ways. The Supreme Court”s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Paul Herrnson writes, meant that, “the 2010 congressional elections ushered in a new era of interest group participation in federal elections.” At the same time campaign communication and finance have been transformed through new uses of the internet; and the terrain of elections altered through reapportionment and the underlying, geographic “partisan sort” of the country.

In these senses there may be a new politics of congressional elections. Yet how significant are these changes? Do they clearly favor one party or the other, or some groups over others? What are the prospects for reforms such as different methods of redistricting, or changes in campaign finance? What difference might any reforms make?

Paul Herrnson is easily one of the nation’s leading experts on our topic. The 7th edition of his textbook, Congressional Elections: Campaigning at Home and in Washington, will be released this Fall. He is also an influential scholar of interest groups, having most recently co-edited Interest Groups Unleashed (2013) with Christopher Deering and Clyde Wilcox. Join us to hear about the latest and best scholarship on the contest to control the “first branch” of the United States government.

November 2015






































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