Once the votes are tallied in the 2016 election, where does America go next? University of Nebraska-Lincoln experts are available to help journalists interpret the results and predict what the voters’ decisions mean for the future.
Stressed-out votersPolitical scientist Kevin Smith, who studies politics and biology, recently assisted reporters for WNYC radio, a New York City public radio station, in an experiment measuring stress hormone levels among debate watchers as well as a Texas couple who had to stop talking about the presidential race because their fights became too heated. The story appeared on WNYC’s “Only Human” program, as well as on the United States of Anxiety podcast, and was discussed on The Takeaway, NPR’s nationally distributed talk shows. Smith will be available on a limited basis Nov. 9 via email at [email protected]
Trump's appealPolitical scientist John Hibbing has studied what he calls “stealth democracy” – voters who dislike the compromise inherent in politics and prefer decisiveness of un-elected experts and businesspeople. That seems to describe many Trump supporters, Hibbing has observed. Hibbing, who studies politics and biology, also can talk about voters and anxiety. Hibbing can be reached via email Nov. 9 at [email protected]
If America elects its first female president (or not)Sociologist Julia McQuillan has studied how to develop more women leaders in higher education. If Democrat Hillary Clinton is elected, she is prepared to discuss how it could change the implicit assumption that the top leader of the U.S. must be male. Former president Bill Clinton’s new role as first husband also could change perceptions about men’s roles at work and at home, with both genders being seen as more complete persons with both job and family responsibilities. If Trump wins, she adds, she hopes it will energize the feminist movement. McQuillan is in Florida to watch the election with her politically active mother, but can be reached via email [email protected]
Law professor Anna Shavers also is available to discuss how the presidential election could affect women. If Clinton wins, it will be “the confirmation that a woman can serve as the leader of the free world,” she says. Though Clinton may not necessarily advance policies focused on women, her election would bring a new perspective to the White House and it sends a message to politically ambitious women and girls by showing them the presidency is a realistic possibility. “A Trump victory will simply mean that none of the things I mentioned will happen,” she added. Shavers will be at her office phone, 402-472-2194, on Nov. 9. Her email address is [email protected]
Ann Mari May, an economist who serves as executive vice president and treasurer of the International Association for Feminist Economists, also is prepared to discuss the historic significance of a Clinton presidency. She has studied the history of women and work. “Having a woman on the ticket as a majory party candidate is absolutely historic,” she said. “I am sure there are many women that have been waiting for the opportunity to vote for a woman candidate.” May can be reached at [email protected] from 10 AM to 11:30 AM nd from 2 PM to 4 PM Nov. 9.
The candidates’ messagesNebraska debate coach Aaron Duncan, an assistant professor of practice in communication studies, can analyze the presidential candidates’ speeches as well as the media’s presentation of the election results and the campaigns. He notes GOP candidate Donald Trump relied on a fearful and aggressive form of emotional rhetoric, while Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton reinforced the power of establishment advantages for coordination and fund raising. Duncan is available until 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 9. He can be reached via email at [email protected].
If it’s too close to callLaw professor Eric Berger is a constitutional scholar who can discuss whether the election results can be challenged. He can be reached via email, [email protected], the evening of Nov. 8 or Nov. 9, or at his office phone, 402-472-1251, the morning of Nov. 9.
The fate of Nebraska’s death penaltyLaw professor Eric Berger is a national expert on the constitutional questions about the death penalty and the lethal injection method. He can be reached via email, [email protected], tonight or at his office phone, 402-472-1251 tomorrow.
Nebraska’s surprisingly divided attitude about capital punishmentSociologist Lisa Kort-Butler has studied Nebraskans' shifting attitudes toward the death penalty dating back to the 1980s. She has gathered preliminary data from the Nebraska Annual Social Indicators Survey that showed Nebraskans in 2016 were nearly equally divided between support and opposition to capital punishment – with 46 percent saying they preferred an alternative punishment of life in prison and 45 percent saying they favored the death penalty. Kort-Butler also has observed that a growing number of Nebraskans think capital punishment is not fair. Kort-Butler is available at 402-472-6005 after 3:30 p.m. Nov. 8 and after 9 a.m. on Nov. 9. She also is reachable by email at [email protected].
These and other experts on election topics may be available on request on Nov. 8. Contact Leslie Reed, national news editor, at [email protected] or 402-677-0853 (cell) or 402-472-2059, Deann Gayman, social sciences writer/editor, at 402-472-8320 or [email protected].