Sunday, September 16, 2012

Election news from campuses on the campaign trail

In Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (End of primary season edition) last night on Daily Kos, I marked the end of a series.
Between now and the end of the primary/caucus season, Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday will highlight the research stories from the public universities in each of the states having elections and caucuses during the week (or in the upcoming weeks if there is no primary or caucus that week). Tonight's edition highlights the science, space, environment, health, and energy stories from universities in the states of Delaware, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island (list from and will be the last to do so, as primary season is over.
As for what will replace that series, I plan on replacing it with featuring the research of public universities in swing states, with the additions of states hosting presidential and vice-presidential debates. As of right now, that would mean stories from Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia, along with Kentucky and New York the weeks surrounding the vice-presidential debate in Danville, Kentucky on October 11th and the second presidential debate in at Hofstra University in New York on October 16th. The schedule shows the other two debates are already in swing states, Colorado and Florida. If other states come into play, I might add them. In particular, I'm keeping a close eye on Wisconsin, not only because Paul Ryan might once again make that state close, but because the University of Wisconsin provides good stories.

Enough of my plans for the future. Follow over the jump for the beginning of my celebration of the end of this series with election news for the past month originally included in Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Curiosity's first destination edition), Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Labor Day weekend edition), and Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (35th Anniversary of Voyager 1 edition).

University of Arizona: Learning About the Presidency in the 'Reel' World
A fall course will examine the history of politics through screenings of movies at The Loft Cinema. Members of the public are invited to join.
By Lori Harwood, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
August 13, 2012
At the University of Arizona, a class on the pursuit of the presidency just got an infusion of movie fun.

As part of the fall course, "Struggle for the Presidency," students will watch election-related movies at The Loft Cinema. For a charge, community members also can attend the movies and join in the discussion.

The course, which will be taught by Kate Kenski, an associate professor in the department of communication and the School of Government and Public Policy, examines the campaign strategies and tactics of presidential hopefuls from 1960 to the present.

The course will shed light on how the U.S. makes political decisions and how candidates attempt to influence the vote. In an election year, the course promises to be filled with timely content.
Arizona State University: News21 students investigate voting rights
Posted: August 13, 2012
Student journalists participating in the national Carnegie-Knight News21 program have produced a major national investigation into voting rights in the United States. “Who Can Vote?” is the 2012 project of News21, a national investigative reporting initiative funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The goal of News21, headquartered at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, is to produce in-depth, innovative and interactive investigative journalism on issues of national importance.

Twenty-four students from 11 universities across the country worked on the voting rights project under the direction of journalism professionals. The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation provided a grant supporting the work of six of the students, and the Hearst Foundations supported another three fellows.
University of Michigan on YouTube: University of Michigan expert explains what to look for at the Republican convention

University of Michigan Department of Political Science and Organizational studies professor Michael Heaney explains what to look out for from the Republican Convention this election season.
I bet Heaney didn't expect Clint Eastwood yelling at a chair.

University of New Hampshire: UNH Political Science Student Has Front-Row Seat at Democratic National Convention
First-Year Student Selected for Prestigious Page Role
August 29, 2012
DURHAM, N.H. – Emily Gold, a first-year political science student from Manchester, is starting her academic career at the University of New Hampshire with a once-in-a-lifetime experience serving as an official page to the New Hampshire delegation attending the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.

Gold, 18, is the only UNH student serving in an official capacity as a page or delegate at either national political convention.

“Being selected as a page was something I did not expect, but I am honored to be given the opportunity,” Gold said. “Getting involved in politics allows students to have a stronger say in the future of their country. We are all citizens of the United States, and we all want to live in a prosperous country so we should all do our part instead of watching others change the world.”
University of Rhode Island: New URI course to have political science students focused on national presidential campaign, election
Students to conduct statewide exit poll
KINGSTON, R.I., Sept. 4, 2012
A new course at the University of Rhode Island will give 35 political science students, most of whom have never voted in a presidential election, the opportunity to study the Obama-Romney campaigns and conduct an exit poll throughout Rhode Island on Nov. 6.

URI Political Science Assistant Professor Shanna Pearson-Merkowitz, who has worked as a professional campaigner, created the course, which focuses on the role of elections in democracy. Students will study voter behavior and turnout, the influence of the media, campaign advertising and the role of negative ads, and how Super PACs and unregulated contributions have influenced the campaign. They will learn how to access and examine data and determine trends.

“My general goal is to get students thinking critically and to get past their own biases or ingrained opinions about why things happen,” she said. “Some students say ‘people don’t vote’ but I want them to understand the constraints of turning out to vote and to think more critically about what that means for a democracy and the validity of an election outcome. For example, what constitutes a mandate if only 50 percent of eligible voters turn out at the polls?”
Boston Herald via University of Massachusetts, Lowell: NBC’s David Gregory Preps for Fiery UMass/Herald Debate
By Joe Battenfeld
Boston Herald
TAMPA, Fla. — “Meet the Press” host David Gregory says he plans to hold U.S. Sen. Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren’s “feet to the fire” when he moderates a University of Massachusetts Lowell/Boston Herald debate between the two Senate contenders.

Gregory, in an interview yesterday from his NBC broadcast booth at the Republican National Convention, said the Oct. 1 debate is a chance for Massachusetts voters, especially younger voters, to get a true measure of the candidates.
Good luck to Warren; she'll need it.

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