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  • U.S. Elections Insights

  • A national election—especially a presidential election—raises important policy questions and priorities, debated by the candidates, discussed by voters and enacted by the new administration. More taxes or fewer? Embrace immigration or resist it? Pro-business or pro-environment? Free-market versus government regulation? The list goes on and on.

    In every corner of the Maxwell School are experts on these topics. Presented below are clips featuring Maxwell faculty speaking to various aspects of U.S. presidential elections.

  • Reeher quoted in CNY Central article on voters, marijuana dispensaries

    Several towns and villages in Central New York, voters will face a decision on whether or not to allow the recreational sale of marijuana. Hyper-localized referendums like the cannabis dispensary decision can lead to higher voter turnout, even in a non-presidential election year, according to Professor Grant Reeher. "If this is something that you're concerned about going on in your village or your town, again you're going to be more motivated to go out and vote for that," he says. Read more in the CNY Central article, "Some CNY voters will decide whether or not marijuana dispensaries can set up shop."



    Faricy discusses Syracuse's mayoral race with CNY Central

    Today is Election Day and we'll soon find out who will take Syracuse's mayoral seat. "When there isn't a president on the ballot, you get low percentages of voting and then you know, strange things happen," explains Christopher Faricy, associate professor of political science. "The notion of every vote counts is never truer than when we talk about local elections," he says. Read more in the CNY Central article, "Election Day is Tuesday, here's what's at stake in the marquee race to lead Syracuse."



    Reeher weighs in on Tucker Carlson 2024 run in National Interest

    Tucker Carlson, host of Fox News’s "Tucker Carlson Tonight," has been floated as a contender for a presidential run in 2024. "Carlson has been keen to focus on the supposed failings and absurdities of Democratic elites, and that puts him in as good a position as any to inherit his supporters—those for whom Trump, as an individual candidate and office-holder, carried some extra appeal beyond the standard Republican brand," says Grant Reeher, professor of political science. He was quoted in the National Interest article, "How Tucker Carlson Could Take Over the GOP and Run in 2024."



    Gadarian quoted in Jewish Insider article on Rep. Tenney, NY-22 race

    The race for New York district 22 wasn’t decided until February 5, when a judge ruled that Claudia Tenney (R-NY) should be certified as the winner. Tenney and Anthony Brindisi (D-NY) were separated by just 12 votes in the original count, but a range of issues linked to voter registration and inconsistencies and failures in vote counting across the district led to a final margin of 109 votes. Shana Gadarian says neither voter ID laws nor voter roll maintenance would have solved the problems the district faced, which were related primarily to counting and failures to successfully register voters who believed they had done so. Read more in the Jewish Insider article, "109 votes brought Rep. Claudia Tenney back to Congress."



    Banks quoted in China Daily article on the inauguration

    Professor Emeritus William C. Banks says that only once in U.S. history, just after the Civil War, has a departing president not attended the inauguration. "The ceremony will also be dramatically affected by the pandemic, and by the extraordinary security necessitated by the attack on the Capitol on Jan 6," he says. Banks was quoted in the China Daily article, "Capital prepared, tense for inauguration."



    Banks quoted in USA Today article on use of the Insurrection Act

    The Insurrection Act allows the president to dispatch the military or federalize the National Guard in states that are unable to put down an insurrection or are defying federal law. If Trump were plotting to invoke the act in some effort to prevent the transition of power to Biden, he'd have to declare it, as part of the provision in the act requiring essentially a public cease and desist order for the insurrectionists, says Professor Emeritus William C. Banks. "He couldn't do this surreptitiously. He would have to make a public proclamation and that would expose his objectives and partisan rationale," he says. Read more in the USA Today article, "What is the Insurrection Act and how could Trump use it? Here's what to know."



    Thorson quoted in National Geographic article on conspiracy theories

    Once people believe something, it can be almost impossible to dissuade them. Emily Thorson, assistant professor of political science, refers to this psychological phenomenon as belief echoes—an "obsessive, emotional response to information that can linger even after we know it’s false." Thorson was quoted in the National Geographic article, "Why people latch on to conspiracy theories, according to science."



    Gadarian discusses Rep. Stefanik's loyalty to Trump with NCPR

    On Monday, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, who represents New York's 21st congressional district, announced her plans to object during the electoral count on Wednesday. Shana Gadarian, associate professor of political science, spoke with North Country Public Radio (NCPR) about the significance of Stefanik's objection to the electoral count and her loyalty to Trump. "I think she's [Stefanik] really kind of set her course as being part of this kind of Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz part of the Republican party at this point, and it will be harder to say, 'I work in a bipartisan way,'" says Gadarian. "That doesn't necessarily mean you'll be voted out, but it will mean that you have chosen sides at this point."



    Radcliffe piece on Sen. Cruz, electoral process published in The Hill

    In his article, "The one question Sen. Cruz must answer," Dana Radcliffe, adjunct professor of public administration and international affairs, says Cruz and the refractory senators who object to counting the votes in certain states need to answer this question in detail: "How does your forcing votes in which you know Congress will defeat your objections and dismiss your proposal in any way serve your express goals of 'supporting election integrity' and 'restoring faith in our democracy,' which you grant are necessary to protect the legitimacy of future administrations?"



    Maxwell faculty speak to the media about violence at the US Capitol

    Several Maxwell faculty members spoke with various media outlets about yesterday's violence at the U.S. Capitol. Professor Emeritus William C. Banks said the fiasco was a "lawless threat" to the country's democratic institutions. "I hope and believe that this pointless and damaging spectacle will further diminish Trump and Trumpism going forward," he told China Daily. Margaret Susan Thompson, associate professor of history and political science, told WAER, "People are disappointed when their candidates lose. There's no question about that, and believe me, I've been on the losing side of many elections. But this has gone beyond that. This has gone beyond to what can only be called fanaticism."



    White comments on Georgia runoff election in The 74, La Tercera

    The results of Tuesday's runoff election in Georgia will decide which party controls the U.S. Senate. Even if the Democrats gain control, they’ll still be looking for support from moderate Republicans. "Senators who are willing to vote with the other side will certainly find themselves getting a lot of attention and likely very favorable treatment of any issues that disproportionately affect their states," Assistant Professor of Political Science Steven White told The 74. He also spoke to La Tercera about the runoff election in Georgia.



    Banks quoted in Military Times article on martial law, new election

    Earlier this week, retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn promoted the idea that the U.S. military should oversee a new nationwide presidential election, ordered under martial law by President Donald Trump. The idea is "preposterous," says William C. Banks. "Apart from the fact that state and now federal investigators have found no evidence of election fraud that would change the election outcome, martial law has no place in the United States absent a complete breakdown of civil governing mechanisms," he says. Banks was quoted in the Military Times article, "Calls for martial law and US military oversight of new presidential election draws criticism."



    O'Keefe writes about the presidential transition in Breaking Defense

    "Each day we tolerate President Trump’s behavior we aren’t just humoring an incumbent who refuses to accept the election results. We are putting American citizens at risk," says University Professor Sean O'Keefe, who served in two Republican administrations. "The consequence of Trump’s anchor dragging will be to diminish the standing of the United States as a mature, stable and principled democracy with the resilience to responsibly govern the republic regardless of who occupies the office of the president." O'Keefe's article, "Biden Transition: We Can’t Afford Time To Humor Trump," was published in Breaking Defense.



    Jackson op-ed on protectionism, white femininity published in Truthout

    "As the majority of white women continue to support candidates whose policies stand in opposition to the concerns and experiences of vulnerable populations in the United States, there remains a proclivity among progressives to protect them from criticism," writes Jenn Jackson, assistant professor of political science. Their op-ed, "Yes, 55 Percent of White Women Voted for Trump. No, I’m Not Surprised," was published in Truthout.



    Reeher weighs in on NY's relationship with Biden in Press Republican

    Under Biden the state could find itself having a much more responsive federal government, and a number of Democrats, not just Cuomo, could be among the beneficiaries, says Professor Grant Reeher. "It certainly gives the state a much louder voice in Washington," he says. And that is expected to be the case even if national Republicans keep control of the U.S. Senate, via two special runoff elections slated to be held in early January, Reeher adds. Read more in the Press Republican article, "Biden could give Albany more influence."



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