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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.

  • Lovely speaks to SCMP about the future of trade, CPTPP

    Trump’s vision of a "Fortress America," where US manufacturers produce everything they need domestically, is unrealistic, says Professor Mary Lovely. "The Trumpers have this idea that we‘re going to bring supply chains back home, and that is not going to happen, so where are we going?" Lovely says, "if we want to reduce our dependence on China, the only other game in town, besides the USMCA [United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement], is CPTPP [Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership]." Read more in the South China Morning Post article, "Could a win for Joe Biden see the US re-engaging on global trade?"



    Gadarian cited in Atlantic, NY Times articles on perceptions of Trump

    "In a threatening environment, Americans reward candidates and parties perceived to hold hawkish positions" and "punish candidates perceived to be dovish," Shana Gadarian told the New York Times. She was interviewed for the article, "Trump Couldn’t Play the Tough Guy This Time." Gadarian was also cited in The Atlantic article, "Why Many White Men Love Trump’s Coronavirus Response."



    Taylor weighs in on US-Russia relations under Biden in RFE/RL article

    A Biden administration, analysts say, would deliver a more consistent policy to the Kremlin, potentially enabling the U.S. and Russia to get more done even if his stance or rhetoric is tougher than Trump's. Clearer messaging could mean that "on certain issues, U.S. policy might be tougher than it has been under Trump," says Professor Brian Taylor. "But it also might mean that in certain areas, it's easier to see possible so-called 'win-win' solutions that just aren't on the table now because of how dysfunctional the process has become." Read more in the RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty (RFE/RL) article, "Russia Relations Unlikely To Improve, Regardless Of U.S. Election Outcome."



    McCormick discusses post-election US-Mexico relations with AP, CNN

    If Biden wins the presidential election, "It's a return back to normalcy, the status quo, the way in which we knew politics to work across the border," Gladys McCormick, Jay and Debe Moskowitz Endowed Chair in Mexico-U.S. Relations, told CNN. "It would be a lot less volatile, a lot less, 'who the hell knows what happens' when you turn on the TV." McCormick was quoted in the CNN article, "Why Mexico's President might want Trump re-elected," and the Associated Press article, "Low expectations in Mexico as US election approaches."



    Barkun quoted in Wash Post article on the dark mood of the election

    "I didn’t take it seriously for a long time, but in the last six weeks, it’s become very concerning," says Michael Barkun, professor emeritus of political science. "This idea that the other side winning the election will produce a precipitous decline and the disintegration of institutions is completely at variance with American history." Read more in the Washington Post article, "The end of democracy? To many Americans, the future looks dark if the other side wins."



    Reeher discusses Biden's debate strategy in The Hill

    "I think the main thing for Biden at this point is to simply show up and get through the event without a major breakdown of some kind," says Professor Grant Reeher. Most viewers are already locked in with their preferred candidate, Reeher says. "They’re just watching to see the show, or to root on their team, or to see a train wreck, and not to try to figure something out." Read more in The Hill article, "Biden's debate strategy is to let Trump be Trump."



    Stonecash provides insight on understanding the election in NY Times

    To understand the election, Jeffrey Stonecash says, we should be asking "about what values and ideas are driving polarization and which groups embrace some ideas rather than others." At the moment, he argues, Americans seems intensely divided by the question: "What defines America: is it a set of people (white, Christian) or is it a set of ideals that anyone can come and achieve. To the former immigrants are an alien threat and dangerous (as it has always been in American history). What value should prevail: individual rights and anti-government beliefs or is there a collective interest that sometimes requires some constraints on individuals?" Read more in the New York Times article, "Biden Is Not Out of the Woods."



    Cohen piece on critical race theory, US election published in El País

    "With immigration halted and immigrants who remain forced to live in terror, Trump is now delivering to his followers the next phase of his war, in which his targets are the US citizens who have long been forced to the margins of their own country," says Professor Elizabeth Cohen and co-author Jason Stanley of Yale University. "Both the 2016 campaign and the 2020 campaign are celebrations of white nationalism. Both campaigns were about race all along." Their article, "Critical race theory and the 2020 US election," was published in El País.



    Reeher discusses Biden-Trump competing town halls in USA Today

    Professor Grant Reeher says that Trump could be looking to recover after being largely criticized for his performance in the first presidential debate last month, where the candidates traded insults and crosstalk clogged much of the conversation. "I think there's more pressure on (Trump) to remedy that in terms of the way he comes across in this event," Reeher says. Read more in the USA Today article, "Here's what to know about the Joe Biden, Donald Trump competing town halls tonight."



    Reeher speaks to VOA about why the VP is important this election

    Professor Grant Reeher was interviewed by VOA Korea for a segment on why the vice president is significant for the 2020 election. Reeher cites the ages of the presidential candidates and President Trump's health issues. His comments begin at 2:50.



    Reeher weighs in on Trump's impact on Katko's campaign in The Citizen

    "Trump has become a millstone around Katko's neck," says Professor Grant Reeher. "Clearly the main campaign strategy of the Balter campaign is to associate Katko with Trump as much as possible. In this regard, the president's performance in the first debate probably hurt Katko by proxy," he says. Read more in the The Citizen article, "How Biden and Trump are helping (or hurting) Balter and Katko in CNY race for Congress."



    Banks expresses concern about election aftermath in Spectrum article

    "On a scale of one to 10, I’d say my worry is about a nine," says Professor Emeritus William Banks. "There are several plausible scenarios that could cause this election to go off the rails." Banks explains that if neither candidate gets to 270 electoral votes, the election would be decided by the House of Representatives. "On January 6, they’re supposed to count the votes. If neither candidate has 270 votes because of the circumstances you just described, there will be 1 vote per state, so 50 potential votes," he says. Each state would determine which candidate had won their electoral votes and they would pass that information along to the House. Read more in the Spectrum News article, "Trump, The Blue Shift, and The Legal Aftermath."



    Thompson discusses impact of Trump's health with CNY Central, KPCC

    "This is unusual in that it's part of a larger national story, it's not simply a story that a particular individual has contracted or a condition that a particular president has contracted. Its part of a pandemic," Margaret Susan Thompson tells CNY Central. If the president's condition worsens to the point where his presidential authority needs to be transferred to Vice President Mike Pence, it will have a major impact on the upcoming election, she says. "If he becomes seriously ill obviously it will have an impact." Thompson was also interviewed on KPCC's "AirTalk."



    Gadarian speaks to FiveThirtyEight, WAER about Trump's diagnosis

    "Attitudes and behaviors around COVID-19 have become really concrete at this point — it will take a lot to move them in a significant, lasting way," Shana Gadarian, associate professor of political science, told FiveThirtyEight. She also spoke to WAER about the impact of President Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis.



    Lovely quoted in Washington Times article on Trump, Biden and trade

    "I would just say an important difference between Biden and Trump, when the smoke clears, is that Biden wants to work with the allies," says Professor Mary Lovely. She was quoted in the Washington Times article, "Trump bets on trade issues as Biden struggles to find footing."



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