- How Candidates With Ties to Higher Education Fared in the Election
- Calif. Voters Approve Ballot Measure to Stave Off ‘Trigger Cuts’ at State Colleges
- Obama Is Equally Favored by Young Voters With and Without College, Survey Finds
- Louisiana Ballot Measure Could Mean More Guns on Campuses, Professor Says
- Can Storms Sway Elections?
November 7, 2012, 2:51 pm
President Obama was re-elected on Tuesday night, and he will also retain the distinction of being the highest-elected academic in the country. Mr. Obama taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School for more than a decade before being elected to the U.S. Senate, in 2004.
Aside from Mr. Obama, in Congressional and state races across the country, a handful of candidates with connections to higher education were on the ballot, and several of them won. Following are the results of some of those races:
Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard Law School professor, edged out U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, the Republican incumbent, by an eight-point margin in one of the most expensive Congressional races in the country. During the contest, Ms. Warren, a Democrat who is the first woman elected to the Senate from Massachusetts, was challenged on her status as an academic at an elite…
November 7, 2012, 4:29 am
On the same night that President Obama won a convincing victory in a race for re-election that at one time was considered too close to call, Gov. Jerry Brown of California appears to have pulled off a win in a similar squeaker. The Democratic governor declared victory for Proposition 30, a ballot measure crucial to the financial future of California’s public colleges. Proposition 30 led 54 percent to 46 percent with 87 percent of precincts reporting.
Governor Brown introduced the measure in order to help cover a $16.7-billion state-budget shortfall. If it passed, Prop 30 would raise the sales tax by a quarter of a cent and increase the income tax on top earners. If it failed, the governor’s 2013 budget called for a series of “trigger cuts” that would reduce state support for the University of California system, the California State University system, and the California Community…
November 1, 2012, 2:56 pm
Young voters who have attended college favor President Obama by the same margin as their peers without experience in college, according to an analysis of poll data released on Thursday by the Tufts University Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement.
More than half of the 18-to-29-year-old registered and extremely likely voters who were polled said they supported President Obama, compared with about a third who preferred the Republican nominee, Mitt Romney. There was little difference in candidate choice between voters who had at least some college experience and those who hadn’t.
However, young voters who had been in college were more likely to be following the election and to have formed opinions on policy issues.
Those voters who had attended college also appeared to be a more sought-after group for the Obama campaign. Such voters were more…
November 1, 2012, 1:05 pm
A proposed constitutional amendment that will be on the ballot in Louisiana on November 6 may make it even tougher to regulate guns in a state with some of the least restrictive gun-control laws in the country. Now Dayne Sherman, an assistant professor of library sciences at Southeastern Louisiana University, suggests in an op-ed piece in the Hammond, La., Daily Star that the amendment, if approved, could pave the way for courts to strike down laws restricting concealed weapons on college campuses, school grounds, and other public sites.
The amendment would remove language from the Louisiana Constitution that gives the state’s Legislature the explicit authority to pass laws restricting the right to carry a concealed weapon (though the removal would not take away the Legislature’s right to pass such laws). It would also add language that calls the right to keep and bear arms a…
October 30, 2012, 12:02 pm
Over on The Chronicle’s Percolator blog, Tom Bartlett writes about the potential effect of Hurricane Sandy on the presidential election. He talks with Neil Malhotra, an associate professor of business and political science at Stanford University and a co-author of a new paper that looks at how various factors, including disasters, influence voting.
October 28, 2012, 1:47 pm
When CNN posted a story about how ovulation supposedly affects women’s voting preferences, readers were outraged and the network pulled the story. But what about the study that story was based on? Over on Percolator, we ask the researcher to explain the work some have called “stupid” and “offensive.”
October 26, 2012, 3:54 pm
Lynn University was closed on Friday, as a precaution against Hurricane Sandy, which was barreling toward the region. But the campus in Boca Raton, Fla., was also recovering this week from a storm of its own making: hosting a presidential debate.
After months of intensive preparation and anticipation, the 90-minute debate on Monday came and went quickly, says Kevin M. Ross, the university’s president.
“The tens of thousands of people who came were here for about a day,” he says. “Within 24 hours of the event, everything was gone. The stage had been packed up and loaded on trucks.”
Since the Commission on Presidential Debates was formed, in 1988, colleges and universities have hosted nearly all of the presidential and vice-presidential debates between the two major parties. During that time, many large research institutions—the University of Miami, Arizona State University, the…
October 26, 2012, 3:10 pm
People in this presidential election’s battleground states are being inundated by millions of dollars’ worth of negative political advertising from both the Obama and Romney campaigns.
A researcher at a university in one of those states, Florida, has conducted a study with potential implications for that controversial element of campaign strategy. The study, by Juliana B. Fernandes, an assistant professor of strategic communication at the University of Miami, looked into the question of how to measure the difference between just enough negative advertising and too much.
Her research has concluded that negative ads are an effective tool for campaigns, if used strategically and in moderation. Using university students as subjects, the study evaluated how variables such as repetition and timing affect the way negative political ads are perceived by viewers. An article resulting from…
October 22, 2012, 8:43 pm
As hordes of reporters and politicians descended on Lynn University for Monday night’s debate, it seemed likely that at least a few of them quipped about the small private institution’s relative obscurity.
But the university, in Boca Raton, Fla., was ready with a feisty retort: “We’ve never heard of you, either.”
That was the message emblazoned on hundreds of official debate T-shirts that the university distributed to students over the past several days.
The idea for the slogan came from the university’s president, Kevin M. Ross.
“A lot of alums say to me that they wish our school were more widely known,” he said. “And I think it’s something that has bothered students…
October 22, 2012, 3:07 pm
Technological upgrades in voting machines have significantly improved the integrity of the nation’s electoral process since the confusion that marred the 2000 presidential election, but widespread problems persist in voter-registration systems and in the growing number of absentee ballots, according to a report released last week by the Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project.
“The effort over the past dozen years to improve voting machines has paid off,” said Charles Stewart III, a professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an author of the report. “Voters who go to the polls should be much more assured that their votes will count and be recorded as they intended.”
For instance, the gap between the number of ballots cast in an election and the number of votes actually counted has been cut in half since 2000, the report says. In that…