The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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A 2021 UMass/WCVB poll on perceptions about marijuana in Massachusetts is mentioned in a story about a rise in cannabis use by women. The poll revealed that only a fraction of residents believed that cannabis has negatively impacted the state. Of 750 respondents, 61% said legal adult-use cannabis has been positive for Massachusetts, 25% remained neutral, and 13% said it has been negative. (Connecticut Health I-Team, 10/13/22; News Office release)

There is additional distribution of a Daily Mail article that quotes Tatishe Nteta, Provost Professor of Political Science and Director of the UMass Poll, about Kanye West’s assertion that BLM was a “scam,” one day after wearing a “White Lives Matter” shirt at his Yeezy fashion show in Paris. Recent UMass Poll findings show support is decreasing for the Black Lives Matter movement, even among African Americans. “Kanye West in some ways is voicing a sentiment that some aspects and portions of the American public believes and supports,” Nteta says.

Provost Professor of Political Science and Director of the UMass Poll Tatishe Nteta comments in an article reporting that most Democratic candidates in competitive races for statewide office have now set debates with their Republican opponents. “If there’s a lack of a competitive race, it doesn’t behoove the candidate who is in the lead to debate. Strategically, it doesn’t really make sense,” Nteta said. (The Boston Globe, 10/1/22)

With the opening of the U.S. Supreme Court,  Professor Paul Collins comments in a Newsweek article about the possibility that the Court could overturn a ban on bump stocks put in place after a 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas. "If accepted, this case will mark the first time in almost 90 years that the justices weigh in on significant gun control measures involving regulations of particular attributes of firearms,” Collins said. (Newsweek, 10/1/22)

Provost Professor of Political Science and Director of the UMass Poll Tatishe Nteta is quoted in an article questioning whether Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives might try to impeach President Joe Biden.  May 2022 poll results found that more than two-thirds of Republicans believe the House should impeach Biden if the Republican party retakes the House in this fall’s midterm elections. "With a number of Republican members of Congress calling to impeach President Biden, the chorus will likely grow louder if and when the Republican Party takes control,” Nteta said. (The Week , 9/27/22)

Professor of political science and legal studies Paul Collins has co-authored an opinion piece examining the deep mistrust many Americans now hold toward the U.S. Supreme Court. “Scholarship demonstrates that public support for one political institution — like the Supreme Court — is linked to support for democratic institutions and processes more generally,” Collins and his co-author write. “Unfortunately for the court, these have been declining in recent years. For example, public approval of Congress has sunk substantially over the past 20 years. Only about 20 percent of the American public say they are very confident in the integrity of elections. And nearly 70 percent of Americans now believe that U.S. democracy is in crisis.” (The Washington Post, 9/30/22)

Provost Professor of Political Science Tatishe Nteta is quoted in a story about a lack of police reforms two years after the George Floyd murder protests, even in left-leaning Boston suburbs. “This is in some ways the story of race in America,” he says. “There are these periods of time in which there is a lot of attention on issues which pertain to people of color and you see mobilization by, in particular, whites to embrace these particular policies and over time…you see a decrease in support.” (Boston Globe, 9/28/22)

Titled "Learning by Doing: Lessons from the Graduate Students in the Boston Human Rights City Pilot Project," the article describes the experience and lessons learned by graduate students and supervising faculty (Sindiso MnisiWeeks and Gillian MacNaughton) in piloting an action-research project aimed at realizing positive economic and social change by advancing the vision of Boston as a human rights city that was articulated in a city council resolution adopted in 2011.

Chris Bailey, a graduate student of political science; Paul Collins, legal studies and political science; Doug Rice, legal studies and political science; and Jesse Rhodes, political science, have been awarded the 2022 Best Conference Paper Award from the Law and Courts Section of the American Political Science Association. Their paper, "The Effect of Judicial Decisions on Issue Salience and Legal Consciousness in the LGBTQ+ Community," is based on research funded by the National Science Foundation and was presented at the 2022 Law and Society Association Conference. (SBS News, 9/26/2022)

Tatishe Nteta, Provost Professor of Political Science and Director of UMass Poll comments on the possibility that Republican Geoff Diehl might refuse to accept a loss this fall in the Mass. governor’s race, adding that agreeing with Trump’s stolen election claims and suggesting that the 2022 results might not be valid puts Diehl squarely in the Republican mainstream. “In our polling, we consistently find about six in ten Republicans question the legitimacy of President Biden and the 2020 election. … This is a growing sentiment in the Republican electorate, that our election system is fraudulent.” ( GBH, 9/19/22)