The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Half the country thinks the nation would be better off if Joe Biden and Donald Trump stepped away from politics, though they remain their parties’ top choices for 2024. While a new national University of Massachusetts Amherst Poll finds President Joe Biden’s job approval inching up to 40% for the first time in 2022, more than half of the country say it would be better off for the nation if both he and former President Donald Trump stepped away from politics in 2024. (News Office Relations, 10/24/22)

The National Center for Technology & Dispute Resolution NCTDR, located in the Legal Studies Program in the Department of Political Science at UMASS Amherst will host this free, online conference open to the public from October 31 to November 4, 2022. Access the Program agenda & participation here.

 Assistant Professor of Political Science Paul Musgrave is interviewed for a story about survey findings that regular newspaper readers are more likely than those who get their news from television to be able to identify foreign countries on a blank map and answer basic questions about them. “It is so hard to keep track of events in this country, let alone everywhere else, and the more countries you start watching, the worse your ability to track any one of them actually gets,” Musgrave says. “But if you have somebody who can just tell you what to think, a trusted agent, it becomes more manageable.” (, 10/17/22) 

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)