The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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The exclusive UMass Amherst WCVB poll of voters in New Hampshire shows that U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is leading the pack in the Democratic presidential race with 25% followed by former Vice President Joe Biden at 20%, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 17% and former mayor Pete Buttigieg with 12% of respondents. U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and businessman Tom Steyer each had 5% while businessman Andrew Yang had 4% of respondents. The poll also found that 61% of those polled say there is still a chance they will change who they are supporting. The poll found that 36% of respondents say when choosing a candidate, the most important quality in that choice is who has the best chance of defeating President Donald J. Trump in November.

Elizabeth Sharrow, an assistant professor of UMass Amherst Department of Political Science and history, co-authored a paper which utilizes college athletics as a case study for how identity and social interaction affect opinions on policy change. The largely gender-separated nature of athletic competitions constitute a clear barrier: Only 9% of sports are coed. Meanwhile, 81% of black athletes participate in either football, basketball or track and field, limiting the potential for interracial interactions in other sports.

The Law, Ethics & Animals Program at Yale Law School is honored and delighted to invite you to join them on Tuesday, February 4, 2020, for the Yale Law, Ethics & Animal Program Inaugural Lectures, featuring Dr. Sheila Jasanoff and Dr. Timothy Pachirat. Together, these lectures will resonate with aspects of LEAP's mission and will speak to the importance of the field of animal law. The lectures will be back-to-back from 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm followed by a reception for faculty, students, friends and supporters of LEAP from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Please RSVP to reserve a seat.

On Jan. 30, 2020, Anthony Rentsch, UMass Amherst Class of 2018, along with his faculty advisors, Profs. Brian F. Schaffner and Justin H. Gross, had an article published in Public Opinion Quarterly. The article, "The Elusive Likely Voter: Improving Electoral Predictions with More Informed Vote-Propensity Models," was based on work completed as part of Anthony Rentsch's honors thesis at UMass, and is just in time to be useful to those preparing to analyze the 2020 elections. Rentsch completed his Master's degree in Data Science at Harvard University in December 2019.

Raymond La Raja, political science, and Jonathan Rauch from the Brookings Institution write that both Democrat and Republican presidential nominating processes are at risk of producing nominees who aren’t competent to govern and/or don’t represent a majority of the party’s voters. They say this is because party professionals have a declining role in the process, but these insiders can make primaries safer, fairer and more democratic.

Congratulations to Timothy Pachirat, who has been awarded a Laurence S. Rockefeller Visiting Fellowship to the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University next year 2020/2021.

Paul M. Collins, political science, describes the dilemma facing Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts in presiding over the presidential impeachment trial. “Any decision he makes in the president’s favor will be interpreted as partisan since Roberts is a Republican. Yet any decision he makes against the president will be interpreted as biased, too,” says Collins.

Charli Carpenter, Political Science, explains the different terminologies for political killings in the wake of the premeditated killing of Iranian military commander Qassem Suleimani on Jan. 3.

Sheldon Goldman, Distinguished Professor of political science, says U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who has approved almost every federal judge nominee during her years in the Senate, has had an impact on how the judiciary works. 

Musgrave has been named a 2019-20 Spotlight Scholar for his work exploring the ramifications of partisanship and its impact on both domestic and foreign policymaking. Read more.