"We've been talking to the same [3,000] Americans since early March, every six weeks or so," says Shana Gadarian, associate professor of political science. What they found is that Americans were "using their partisanship as the top way to screen new information and decide what to do."
"We thought that the more worried people were about COVID, the more likely they were to be following all of the, kind of public health best practices," says Shana Gadarian, associate professor of political science. "And that's not what we found. What we found was that the biggest divider in people's behaviors was not their age, not their demographics, not their education; it was their partisanship."
"She was tough,” Kristi Andersen, professor emeritus of political science, says of Margaret Chase Smith, the first woman to serve in both houses of Congress and whose most enduring victory was the passage of her Women's Armed Forces Integration Act giving women permanent roles in the U.S. military. "She held her own, for sure—as most of these people did."
"The conventions this year might actually be more important than in relatively recent years past since the campaigns are very constrained in what they can do in person," says Grant Reeher, professor of political science. "Those in-person events would normally drive a lot of the media coverage in the last few months of the campaign. But that is only if people watch the conventions."
"The biggest risk" with Republicans following best public health practices and wearing masks, "is that the president will pick you out for ridicule, or if you had someone running against you, the president would endorse that person," says Shana Gadarian, associate professor of political science.
Grant Reeher, professor of political science, says that while Trump had said much worse than Biden in terms of "levels of offensiveness or levels of insensitivity or thoughtlessness," the peril for the Democrat lay in a somewhat different area. "It is less clear that Biden is saying those things on purpose."