Everything you need to know about the 2020 election cycle featuring research and expert analysis by Northeastern’s faculty
Biden builds his cabinet around Tony Blinken and Janet Yellen
The president-elect tapped a former central banker and a longtime national security adviser to lead the key cabinet posts of Treasury and State. The early personnel announcements signal an emphasis on expertise and experience over political ideology in the White House, Northeastern professors say.Read more
Will Biden’s proposed mask mandate actually force people to wear facial coverings?
Probably not, because any mandate he tried to impose would likely face court challenges. But there are other ways he can use the power of the presidency to try to get more people on board, including a direct appeal to our conscience, professors Wendy Parmet and Patricia Illingworth say.Read more
Biden's challenge will be to surround himself with 'excellent' people to manage the coronavirus
In a freewheeling political analysis of the 2020 election, Michael Dukakis, the Democratic nominee for president in 1988, said he is confident in Joe Biden’s ability to manage a surge in pandemic infections and hospitalizations because of the president-elect’s management style of surrounding himself with “excellent people who know what they’re doing.”Read more
‘This could serve as a source of empowerment for African Americans’
On Election Day, Mississippi became the final state to dissociate from the Confederate emblem, an enduring symbol of slavery in the southern U.S. This symbolic change could have lasting impact, says Patricia Davis, an associate professor at Northeastern who studies public memory, identity, race, gender, and representation.Read more
Biden beat Trump. Now what?
As Biden called for unity in his victory speech on Saturday, Trump polarized the GOP with claims of voter fraud. These two opposing messages are indicative of political trends to come in the next four years, says Costas Panagopoulos, head of the department of political science. “Biden and Harris have a lot of work to do to unite the country. And the GOP will have to do some soul searching.”Read more
Will Trump complete any of his ‘Hail Mary’ election lawsuits?
With Joe Biden on the verge of claiming the presidency, legal efforts by President Donald Trump to turn the election are equivalent to last-ditch plays at the end of a football game, according to Dan Urman, who teaches Constitutional law and the modern U.S. Supreme Court at Northeastern. “But sometimes Hail Mary passes get caught,” adds Urman.Read more
How did the polls get it so wrong...again?
Trump out-performed polls in nine states by a median of six points, says Nick Beauchamp, assistant professor of political science. “That’s a shockingly large error,” he says. There are several theories why. But either way, it doesn’t portend well for the future of polling, he warns.Read more
How do news outlets decide to call states for Biden or Trump?
It comes down to strategy and technique, says journalism professor Dan Kennedy. “Each news organization came to its decision while trying to be as responsible as possible,” he says.Read more
Whoever wins, it’s clear the US is divided. It’s time to turn to local communities for solutions.
The election between President Donald J. Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden continues this week, with razor-thin margins in crucial swing states making it too close to call on Tuesday. But one thing was clear early on, said Ted Landsmark, distinguished professor of public policy and urban affairs—the U.S. is as politically polarized as ever, and it’ll take more than a presidential election to bring people back together.Read more
The ghost of Bush v. Gore may haunt the 2020 election
In the frenzied weeks before Election Day, the Supreme Court has been asked to consider a number of election cases that could affect the outcome between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden. “It’s like Bush v. Gore is back,” says legal scholar Dan Urman.Read more
Here’s how the US ranks COVID-19 and other issues ahead of Election Day
People throughout the U.S. agree that COVID-19 is the top problem facing the nation—but there is no such consensus on what comes next, according to a new survey by researchers from Northeastern, Harvard, Northwestern, and Rutgers.Read more
Vote on Tuesday–and next year, and the year after, too
In an election unlike any other in modern history, Northeastern Votes has been working hard to ensure that everyone who can cast a ballot on Nov. 3 does. And, they’re making sure people don’t just vote every four years, but get involved in community politics every year.Read more
Here’s why electronic voting won’t happen anytime soon
Some Americans are doubtful of the mail-in voting system as ballots get lost, damaged or fail to arrive in the mail all together. With the pandemic forcing many to choose mail-in voting over in-person voting, some are wondering whether electronic voting would be better. Engin Kirda, professRead more
Jagshemash! Is Borat a new undercover journalist?
Sacha Baron Cohen—star of “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”—is using fictional characters to reveal Rudy Giuliani, QAnon followers, and other real-life drivers of the U.S. culture wars on the eve of the presidential election. Has he launched a new form of investigative journalism?Read more
Third party voters unhappy with Trump’s COVID-19 response are leaning Biden
There isn’t much the president can do to change voters’ impressions of his response to the pandemic, the study by researchers from Northeastern, Harvard, Northwestern, and Rutgers reported. The politics of the pandemic suggest that some first-time voters are basing their support on the administration’s response to the COVID-19 outbreakRead more
The election is almost here. Stay informed with these events.
Here are some events that will keep you up to date on all the big political issues leading up to the election.Read more
Amy Coney Barrett is poised to continue Antonin Scalia’s legacy on the Supreme Court
The Senate is expected to squeak out a vote to send Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court today. Her confirmation, says Dan Urman—who teaches a course at Northeastern on Constitutional law and the modern U.S. Supreme Court—could represent the biggest ideological shift on the court in decades.Read more
Here’s why Donald Trump failed to ‘rock the boat’ in his debate with Joe Biden
Though Trump practiced relatively courteous behavior in the second and final debate on Thursday. But the president failed to cut into Joe Biden’s lead in a meaningful way, said Nicholas Beauchamp, assistant professor of political science at Northeastern.Read more
The US is less than 2 weeks away from Election Day. Here’s what to watch for.
“This is the pandemic election. It’s a whole different world,” said Sabrina Siddiqui, national politics reporter for the Wall Street Journal, and one of three politics experts who participated in the latest Civic Experience event at Northeastern on Wednesday.Read more
Climate change has made history this election cycle. But how will it fare in November?
With this week’s debate canceled, the only presidential debate so far featured the longest discussion of climate change of any such showdown to date. But there’s still a long way to go, says Jennie C. Stephens, dean’s professor of sustainability science and policy at Northeastern.Read more
Biden may see sizable gains from mail-in ballots in several battleground states
Nearly 80 million absentee ballots are expected to be cast in the presidential contest, up sharply from 2016. That bodes well for the Democratic candidate and former vice president, a new national study finds.Read more
Pence and Harris’s low-key debate probably won’t change many voters' minds. Here's why.
The debate probably didn’t move the needle in terms of attracting undecideds, Northeastern professors observe. But with a Supreme Court nomination hearing on the way, their discussion set the stage for a looming political conflictRead more
Will the vice presidential debate tell us more than Trump and Biden did?
What if we could look back on political debates and extract the information we needed to make informed decisions on issues and candidates? A visualization tool created by an interdisciplinary team of researchers at Northeastern may help us do just that.Read more
Does the public have a right to know the state of the president’s COVID-19 diagnosis?
Yes, says Wendy Parmet, university distinguished professor of law at Northeastern and director of the Center for Health Policy and Law. Especially when other people’s health is involved. “Just because he might recover doesn’t mean everyone is going to recover,” Parmet says. “Telling people not to worry about the pandemic is dangerous.”Read more
Democrats and Republicans both strongly support new round of COVID-19 pandemic aid, study says
Bipartisanship quickly ends as sharp differences continue over the price tag and where the money goes. Democrats favor aid to hospitals, schools, and the Postal Service. GOP opposes money to states and cities, researchers from Northeastern, Harvard, Northwestern, and Rutgers found.Read more
Here's how states are dealing with mail-in voting ahead of the election
Research conducted over the summer suggest that many Americans entered the fall with support for the mail-in voting process. Will President Donald Trump’s attacks on those ballots change Americans’ views about the process?Read more
In the first presidential debate, the shouting drowned out the body language
The first presidential debate of 2020 was unlike any other that Laura Dudley, an assistant clinical professor at Northeastern who specializes in body language, has seen. As she analyzed the candidates’ non-verbal cues, she said, it was impossible for her to overlook the shouting, interrupting, and name-calling between the rivals. Judge for yourself.Read more
Did anyone really win the first presidential debate?
Tuesday’s debate between Republican incumbent Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden was marked more by what it wasn’t—a coherent advocacy of policy differences—than what it was. The showdown was nearly 90 minutes of cross-talk, interruptions, and shouting that “both men probably lost,” said Nicholas Beauchamp, assistant professor of political science at Northeastern University.Read more
Trump, Biden likely to focus on energizing core supporters in first presidential debate
The move away from showering swing voters with attention has a lot to do with technology that allows campaigns to micro-target supporters down to where they live, says Costas Panagopoulos, chair of Northeastern’s Department of Political Science, whose new book connects election data to insights gained from behavioral social science.Read more
Ruth Bader Ginsburg leaves behind an unmatched legacy. How might her death shape the 2020 election and beyond?
The 87-year-old Supreme Court Justice will be memorialized as an iconic figure who faced and overcame discrimination to make history as the second woman to ever serve on the nation’s highest court. “Ginsburg basically changed the way that the Supreme Court and American culture understand gender equality and the meaning of sex-based discrimination,” says Dan Urman, a Constitutional law expert at Northeastern.Read more
Election Day is in 8 weeks. Will every ballot be counted?
Fake news. Russian interference. Voter suppression. It’s all on the table at Northeastern’s voting rights conference.Read more