University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Ray La Raja, Political Science and Co-Director of the UMass Amherst Poll, was interviewed for a local news report highlighting local experts’ analysis of President Biden’s State of the Union Address. La Raja was not involved in the survey, said, “Of course people aren’t excited because [Biden’s] not an exciting candidate. People just aren’t paying attention that much, and they’re still sticking to their priors.” (, 2/10/23; WWLP-TV 22, 2/8/23)

Provost Professor of Political Science and Director of the UMass Amherst Poll Tatishe Nteta is quoted in a story examining the state of Massachusetts’ Republican party under the leadership of new party chair Amy Carnevale.  “There is no candidate on the horizon that will compete for two of the [U.S.] Senate positions that are currently held by individuals over the age of 70 years old. I think this is the bottom, as it pertains to the party in the state,” Nteta says, adding that, “The thing we know about American politics is, just when you think a party is down and out, they can surprise you,” Nteta said. “That happens historically at the national level, and I think it potentially could happen here at the state level. But it’s going to need effective leadership and a vision and hard work to achieve the overarching goal.” (GBH, 2/1/23)


Lauren McCarthy, Associate Professor of Legal Studies and Political Science and Director of Legal Studies, has been awarded the Mid-career Post-tenure Fellowship for the 2023-24 academic year. The fellowship provides a research-intensive semester to associate professors whose service and teaching responsibilities have exceeded the norm. Award recipients will be provided with one semester of release from teaching responsibilities, department obligations, and college service. (UMass News Office, 02/01/2023)

There is additional coverage on a recent UMass Amherst poll finding that 6 in 10 respondents support setting an upper age limit for the U.S. president. Professors of political science and co-directors of UMass Poll Jesse Rhodes and Ray La Raja are quoted in the article. (, 1/20/23;  News Office release


While a recent UMass Amherst poll showed President Biden's net approval rating at 44%, up 4 points from October, “The real issue is always the economy,” said Ray La Raja, professor of political science at UMass Amherst and associate director of the UMass Poll. “Is it going to stay on track? It's doing OK, inflation is coming down. What are we going to have? Are we going to fall into recession?” (WCTI [N. Car.] from The National Desk, 1/20/23;  News Office release

A recent UMass Amherst poll finds that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has gained ground on former President Trump, “but Trump still gets most first-choice votes and is among the top three choices for almost two-thirds of Republicans," said professor or political science and co-director of the poll Alex Theodoridis. (AlterNet, 1/22/23; El País [Spain], 1/20/23; News Office release)

Hundreds of media outlets across the country, including CSPAN, Salon, Politico and The Hill, either cited the poll’s results or quoted poll director Tatishe Nteta and co-directors Ray La Raja, Jesse Rhodes and Alex Theodoridis. (News Office, 01/25/23)

Paul Collins, professor of legal studies and political science, comments in an article about the U.S. Supreme Court’s investigation into the leak of an opinion draft that led to last year’s overturning of Roe v. Wade. “The big takeaway is that the court has a problem, and that it wasn't able to locate the source of that problem,” Collins says. (WACH Fox 57 [South Carolina], 1/20/23)

Alexander Theodoridis, Co-Director of the UMass Poll, participates in two podcasts about recent poll results, including a finding that 37% of Republicans still choose Donald Trump as their party’s nominee, and discusses polling in the age of hyperpartisanship. “We wanted to see how much of the rank-and-file have received this memo that Donald Trump is in the rearview mirror,” he says. “Generally speaking, this is not a party where the average voter is giving the stiff arm to Donald Trump. He’s not persona non grata.” (Fast Politics with Molly-Jong Fast, The Cycle w/ Rachel Bitecofer, 1/19/23; News Office Release)

A UMass poll from shortly before last November’s midterm elections found that 33% of respondents named the economy as the most important issue when voting for candidates. (GBH News [Boston], 1/17/23; News Office release)