Newly-eligible young voters are in the news and on the minds of politicos this year. States of Change, a nonpartisan project studying shifts in the electorate, estimates that Millennials presently constitute 34.2 percent of eligible voters while Post-Millennials make up another 3.4 percent. These two groups combined will virtually equal the share of eligible voters composed of Baby Boomers and the Silent and Greatest Generations; by dint of sheer numbers they could easily determine the election’s outcome – should they register and vote, which is not a given based on historical data. Eligibility and participation are very different questions.
UC San Diego Alumni brings together two commentators to provide context and insight into what is shaping up to be one of the most contentious elections in American history. Moderator Jerri Malana ’86 welcomes political expert and author Thad Kousser, Chair of the Department of Political Science at UC San Diego. They are joined by José Luz González ’20, a Chancellor’s Associates Scholar and UC-DC alumnus who graduated with a degree in Public Health. In a lively conversation the two men offer varied but complementary perspectives on the upcoming election.
Kousser, a seasoned political researcher and pundit, outlines the demographic, economic, and ideological shifts that have occurred since Barack Obama’s election in 2008, and discusses how politicians and various components of the electorate have responded to those changes. González offers observations about one increasingly important component in particular, the under-25 voter. He notes that young people coming of voting age this year have recently exhibited a greater interest in politics than the previous generation or two, but stresses that it’s impossible to predict by fata alone whether that interest will translate into an increased presence at the polls in November.
Both Kousser and González also stress the outsized influence of social media on the body politic, and the difficulty in identifying reliable news sources. Other topics discussed include the influence of numerous special interest groups and the voting process itself, including the Electoral College’s role. Throw in such wild cards as deliberate misinformation, extreme partisanship, gerrymandering, voter suppression, and possible foreign meddling, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when contemplating the 2020 Presidential Election. Fortunately, experts like Kousser and González help to guide us through the thicket.
This is one of those rare political discussions where two people with different points of view actually listen and learn from each other as each describes their interpretation of why the majority of working-class voters sided with Donald Trump in the last election. Sociologist Arlie Hochschild and political scientist Steven Hayward discuss the causes for the ongoing cultural divide and offer glimmers of hope as they highlight examples of where people of opposite views have found common ground.
Will he or won’t he? After months of threatening to scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement, whispers from the White House now suggest that President Trump may be backing off this prominent campaign pledge. But we’re still hearing about GOP support for a Border Adjustment Tax and other proposals that would fundamentally alter the
trade, security and diplomatic relationships among the three partners, Mexico, Canada and the United States.
To get a sense of what’s at stake, the Center for US-Mexican Studies at UC San Diego convened an A-list group of experts, including the New York Times’ Elisabeth Malkin, the Wall Street Journal’s Dudley Althaus, former Homeland Security Asst. Secretary Alan Bersin, former US Ambassador to Mexico Jeffrey Davidow and other academic, government and business leaders for robust and informative discussions on the issues that shape, and challenge, this landmark trade agreement.
In the 2012 presidential campaign, both candidates repeatedly promised one thing: to deal with the economic and unemployment issues that plague the nation. Many voters were skeptical that the opposing candidate’s plan could really help Americans find work, which led to very heated debates on the matter.
Take a look inside the rhetoric of the 2012 campaign as UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy’s Dean, Henry E. Brady, joins UC Davis economist Hilary Hoynes and UC Berkeley sociologist Cybelle Fox to explore the way the candidates discussed income inequality.
Richard “Dick” Beahrs, a member of the Center on Civility & Democratic Engagement Advisory Board at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, moderates the panel as they evaluate the way the debate strategies that each candidate used have affected bipartisanship, civility, and public discussion.
The presidential election is over, but there is still a lot to be learned from the votes.
A panel of experts comprised by UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies analyzes President Obama’s re-election and what it can tell us about the President’s second term.
Was this election a demand for Obama’s return or was it merely a rejection of Republican candidate Mitt Romney? Obama won with a smaller majority then he did in his first election. Is this a reflection of the president’s leadership in his first term? Can we expect changes in his policy?