The 2016 election cycle is being called one of the most divisive on record. An unexpected presidential victory by Donald Trump paired with Republican majorities in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate may have major effects on the United States and the rest of the world in the coming months and years. The political divisions between friends and family members – although on a personal rather than public level – are no less dramatic.
Texas Tech University has experts available to discuss many of the questions lingering from the elections process and those the country faces as it prepares to move forward.
Effects on the American elections processSeth McKee, associate professor, Department of Political Science, (806) 834-1880 or [email protected] • McKee can speak about the processes in the presidential election, U.S. House and Senate elections, Texas politics and statewide races, including questions such as: o Has the political process been permanently altered by this election cycle? o Can the public trust the political process, or is there any legitimacy to the claims of election rigging? o How do parties move forward? o Could there be a brighter future for third-party candidates? • McKee’s recently published research includes white conservative voting for minority Republican candidates in Senate and gubernatorial elections, voting behavior in different parts of the South, and factors influencing the passage of voter ID laws in states. To view more of McKee’s research, click here.
Effects on CongressJoel Sievert, visiting assistant professor, Department of Political Science, (806) 834-4103 or [email protected]• Sievert can discuss the effects of the election on the U.S. Congress.• Sievert’s areas of expertise include American political institutions with an emphasis on Congress, congressional elections, the presidency and separation of powers. His recently published research includes the role of congressional candidates in an era of party ballots, electoral reform and changes in legislative behavior, and the establishment of party policy committees in the U.S. Senate. To view more of Sievert’s research, click here.
Effects on the judiciaryArnold H. Loewy, George R. Killam Jr., Chair of Criminal Law, Texas Tech School of Law, (806) 834-1852 or [email protected]• Loewy teaches a seminar course on the Supreme Court as well as courses in criminal law, criminal procedure and the First Amendment.• The ability of the new president to appoint Supreme Court justices was a central theme in the election as numerous judges are approaching ages where they are expected to retire. This will shift the balance of thinking in the Supreme Court.• Donald Trump has indicated he will lean toward appointing conservative judges, which could bring Roe vs. Wade and marriage equality issues back before the court.• “I don’t think the election will affect current Supreme Court justices or their opinions. I do think that the president-elect will be more likely to pick justices in the mold of Clarence Thomas or Samuel Alito rather than Sonia Sotomayor or Elena Kagan. Of course, how a particular new justice will vote cannot be known until he/she actually sits on the court and hears or decides cases.”
Polling discrepanciesSara Norman, Earl Survey Research Lab director and professor, Department of Political Science, (806) 834-7364 or [email protected] • Norman can speak about the discrepancies between the pre-election polling results and the actual outcome of the elections.• Norman teaches the Introduction to American Government class. Students in her class and another course conducted a pre-election poll of registered Texas voters that predicted a Trump win with 50 percent of the popular vote; he ended with 52.7 percent.
Relationships and social mediaJaclyn Cravens, assistant professor of addictive disorders and recovery studies, College of Human Sciences, (806) 834-2705 or [email protected]Jason Whiting, professor of marriage and family therapy, College of Human Sciences, (806) 834-4560 or [email protected]• Cravens and Whiting can discuss how communicating through social media implies a distance or a lack of reality that allows people to disconnect real life from online life, as well as creating a raft of opportunities for misinterpretation, escalation and emotional reactions to political comments from family and friends.• Cravens’ research focuses on the role technology and the Internet plays in intimate partner relationships. To view more of her research, click here. • Whiting’s research focuses on couple conflict and violence, and relationship education. To view more of his research, click here.