The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Professor Raymond La Raja is quoted in an article examining the fundraising efforts of Amy McGrath, the Democratic challenger to Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell. “It’s a high profile race, McConnell is the second most powerful Republican and Democrats intensely dislike him,” La Raja says. “It is a national race that attracts small donors.”

Scott Blinder, political science, is quoted in an article on how the presidential election may be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and how voters may view President Trump and Joe Biden’s responses to the crisis.

Timothy Scalona, an undergraduate senior in the Department of Political Science, recently published a thoughtful and moving mediation on the COVID-19 crisis and graduation in the Boston Globe: "Morning Senior Year 2020: As we approach summer and a recession, graduating seniors face further job insecurity. Anxiety replaces the joy of senior year as we fight to find balance without resources." 

Professor Charli Carpenter's recent article in Foreign Policy advocates for a national civilian draft to combat COVID-19.

Professor Regine Spector has been selected as a 2020-21 Institute for Social Science Research Scholar. Her project title is "Ambiguities of Renewable Energy: Rethinking Electricity Markets, Green Development and Sustainability in Massachusetts." (Co-Scholar Eve Vogel). 

Ray La Raja, political science and associate director of the UMass Amherst/WCVB Poll, is quoted in an article examining the possible future of the democratic socialism movement championed by Bernie Sanders. By failing to gain the Democratic Party nomination for president, La Raja says Sanders can continue “being this vehicle for their movement and espousing these principles and pulling the Democratic Party left.”

Research by Tatishe Nteta, political science, is cited in an opinion piece about changes in support for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders between 2016 and 2020. (The New York Times, 3/11/20)

Sheldon Goldman, Distinguished Professor in political science, comments in a news story about former Vice President Joe Biden saying if he is elected president, he might nominate the first black woman to the U.S. Supreme Court. “The field would really be wide open,” Goldman says. In addition to federal judges who are on appeals courts, Goldman says legal scholars and state attorneys general could be choices for a seat on the Supreme Court.


Raymond J. La Raja, political science and associate dean for program innovation in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, writes a column where he discusses how small donors to political campaigns can create problems for political parties. He uses the example of Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate who have a good chance of defeating Republican incumbents, but they aren’t getting a lot of money from small donors. Instead, many small donors are giving to candidates who are running against unpopular, but relatively safe Republicans such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. La Raja says the Democratic party may be forced to rely on wealthy large donors and political action committees to fund candidates who could help win control of the Senate.

Raymond J. La Raja, political science and associate dean for program innovation in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, comments in a news story about the significance of former Vice President Joe Biden’s win in the Massachusetts presidential primary. Biden benefited from a late and huge surge of voters to win. La Raja says Biden’s victory in Massachusetts and elsewhere was unexpected. “I have to say, this is stunning, I’ve never seen such a turnaround in a nominating process,” La Raja says.