The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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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.

A week before Super Tuesday, our guest panel weighs in on who will win the most delegates as the 2020 General Election comes into clear view. (WGBH, 3/2/2020)

And the 3MT winner is...Kira Tait, PhD candidate in Political Science! Kira was named the 2020 Three Minute Thesis winner by the judges and received the People's Choice Award, voted on by the audience. Next, Kira will be competing in Quebec City in April in the next stage of the competition. #UMassAmherst3MT

Topline results and crosstabs for the poll can be found at

AMHERST, Mass. – A new University of Massachusetts Amherst / WCVB poll released today shows Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders in a tight two-point race ahead of Tuesday’s Massachusetts Democratic presidential primary, with Pete Buttigieg a distant third. The poll also found incumbent Ed Markey holding a slender three-point lead over challenger Joseph Kennedy III with a significant number of voters undecided in their Democratic Senate primary race, which is set for September 1.

With African American voters expected to be key in determining who wins the Democratic presidential nomination, an exclusive UMass Amherst/WCVB poll finds that former Vice President Joe Biden is the favorite among African American voters in Super Tuesday states.

New University of Massachusetts Amherst / WCVB Poll of African American Super Tuesday Voters Finds 10-Point Advantage for Biden

Former VP leads in almost all categories of African American voters, though 54% of all respondents indicate a possibility of switching their vote before Super Tuesday.

YouGov interviewed 520 African American registered voters living in Super Tuesday states who were then matched down to a sample of 500 to produce the final dataset. The respondents were matched to a sampling frame on gender, age, and education. The frame was constructed by stratified sampling from the full 2018 Current Population Survey (CPS) 1-year sample with selection within strata by weighted sampling with replacements (using the person weights on the public use file).