The 2017 New Jersey Governor's Race: What to Watch, How to Watch, and How to Participate
As one of only two states that will elect a governor in 2017, New Jersey will be a focal point of American politics this fall. Many of you will be first-time voters in this important state race. In this seminar, we will track the 2017 N.J. gubernatorial election, following the issues, strategies, and major events that happen along the way. We will invite guest speakers from various programs within the Eagleton Institute of Politics along with special guests from gubernatorial campaigns past and present to help us understand what to watch, how to watch it, and how to participate. We also hope to take a field trip or two to see the campaigns and/or a debate up close. With any luck, perhaps we will meet the candidates along the way. Back in the classroom, we will watch campaign advertisements, follow press coverage, and review campaign strategies on all sides, bringing all of these resources together to consider some key questions: Why does the governor matter and what does he or she do? Who are the candidates? What are the issues? Can we trust the polls? What is the role of the media in a statewide campaign? What is the “gender gap” and why is it important? How is money raised and spent in gubernatorial elections? How is running for governor in New Jersey different from running in any other state? How does the experience of the 2016 election change how we approach this election? In the end, we will attempt to answer the most important question of all: Why does your vote matter?