The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Ray La Raja comments in an interview with Tom Edsall of NY Times about prospects for Biden presidency and holding together the Democratic Party. (New York Times, 10/21)

Ray La Raja writes about the unconventional perspective how money in politics really matters and what to do about it. (Books & Ideas, College de France, 10/21)

A recent article about the lack of enthusiasm among young American voters citing research by Meredith Rolfe, political science, is re-published.

Alexander Theodoridis is interviewed at length for a radio news piece regarding the consequences of using dehumanizing language in politics. Theodoridis says that such language, which includes people referring to others as animals, can lead to people believing that those who disagree with them don't deserve the same treatment or respect as those who agree with them. (NPR, 10/18/20)

- Sheldon Goldman, professor emeritus of political science, is quoted in an article fact-checking claims by Donald Trump that Barack Obama left 128 federal court vacancies at the end of his presidency. 

- Sheldon Goldman is quoted in an article examining Republican efforts to “pack” lower courts with conservative judges.

Dean Robinson was interviewed for a radio report about the toll that racism has on mental health. (Vermont Public Radio, 10/1/20)

- Paul Collins and Raymond La Raja are among the local experts interviewed to analyze the Sept. 29 presidential debate.

- Paul Collins is quoted in a news article discussing the ways companies such as Google and Oracle finance amicus briefs for submission to the Supreme Court.

- An article about Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett citing the so-called “Ginsburg Rule” as a reason to not answer some questions during yesterday’s confirmation hearing references a 2018 op-ed in the Washington Post by Paul Collins and Lori Ringhand from the University of Georgia, titled “The ‘Ginsburg Rule’ is not an excuse to avoid answering the Senate’s questions.”

- Paul M. Collins Jr. is the author of two opinion columns about Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. 

Raymond La Raja, political science, is quoted in an article examining Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s preparations for his possible re-election campaign in 2021. La Raja said politicians who are Walsh’s age – 53 – “are always running for something,” and that he wouldn’t be surprised if the Walsh campaign is spending money on focus groups. “He’s trying to see how tough the race is going to be,” he said. (Boston Globe, 10/5/20)

Alex Theodoridis, political science, is quoted in an article about a recent poll that found nearly half of registered voters don’t believe the upcoming presidential election “is likely to be fair and honest,” and that more than half won’t “generally agree on who is the legitimately elected president of the United States.” Theodoridis said “A close, contested election in our hyper-polarized political climate could very well produce isolated incidents of partisan violence. My research, and work by others, shows that most partisans are willing to metaphorically dehumanize those from the other party and that this dehumanization predicts greater tolerance for partisan violence.” (USA TodayYahoo!NewsThe Daily Mail [U.K.], 10/7/20)

Paul Musgrave, political science, was interviewed in advance of the vice presidential debate on Oct. 7. “I think Kamala, of the four people running for president or vice president, is the only person who needs to really define her national brand. I think she’s going to do that as somebody who is tough, confident, and also a loyal member of a potential Biden administration is ready to take over if that need should arise…I think Mike Pence, more than anyone else, is playing for an audience of one. I think that Mike Pence has figured out, since he joined the ticket, that his strongest relationship and his best chance of advancement in politics is showing Donald Trump he is a loyal member of the Trump team,” he said. (Western Mass News, 10/7/20; News Office assistance)

Jesse Rhodes, political science, is quoted in a Deadline Detroit piece that states only 59 people voted in the last presidential election in the Strasburg neighborhood, a predominantly Black community.  A decline in Black turnout in cities like Detroit, Cleveland and Milwaukee cost Hilary Clinton in 2016. Though there’s renewed emphasis on turning out Black Detroiters to avoid the same mistake, less effort is being made to reach the politically disengaged. “There is this challenge for Democrats that … even if they have a demographic or numerical advantage, it’s limited by the lower tendency of non-white Americans to turn out to vote, and that’s not a criticism of those people, it’s rather that it’s reflective of the party’s and political organizations’ failure to ... include them in politics in the same way they do whites.”