You and the 2016 Elections—What To Watch, How to Watch, and How to Participate
On November 8, 2016, voters will finally decide who will occupy the White House and who will serve in the House and Senate beginning in January 2017. Many of you will be first-time voters in this historic election. In this seminar, we will talk about the politics of this very long election season and try to understand the dynamics on the ground. We will invite guest speakers from various programs inside the Eagleton Institute of Politics and snag a variety of visitors from the heat of campaigns to tell us what to watch, how to watch it, and how to participate in ways large and small. What are the fights about? Why are some states seemingly more important than others in a presidential year? What issues will have the biggest impact on the 2016 elections? What is opposition research? What is the impact of negative advertising? How can we tell a good poll from a bad one? Who is donating money to the candidates? How is money raised and spent in presidential elections? Do candidate debates matter? What is the role and impact of today's media in our national elections? Are some groups of voters more important than others? What is the “gender gap”? Do endorsements by newspapers, political leaders, labor unions, musicians, and TV/Hollywood celebrities matter? What about your vote—does it matter?