Thomas Schaller

UMBC faculty discuss state of the presidential campaign in local and national media

With just three weeks to go before Election Day, UMBC faculty have been in the news discussing the state of the presidential campaign.

Kimberly Moffitt, associate professor of American studies, was a guest on The Baltimore Sun‘s “Roughly Speaking” Podcast with Dan Rodricks to analyze the second presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. She joined other local political analysts in a discussion that covered a range of issues, including the candidates’ appeals to undecided voters.

Kimberly Moffitt
Kimberly Moffitt

“To me, at this point in time three weeks out of an election, I do not believe NPR’s most recent discussion about there still being about 25 percent of American voters who are undecided,” Moffitt said. “These two candidates are so polarizing that there is no gray area.”

Moffitt explained that compared to prior presidential elections, she thinks that partisan politics are playing a significant role in this year’s election.

“This is not Mitt Romney and Barack Obama where you can find something of a commonality or connection with either of those candidates. These are clear candidates that either you like or you do not like.”

In other news, in an October 11 article published in The Week, Thomas Schaller, professor and chair of political science, discussed the relationship between Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress and how it could produce a “roll-off” effect in the election where people vote for president but do not vote for other offices down the ballot.

Schaller told The Week that in this year’s election, it “raises the prospect that some of these Trump voters will show up on election day, vote Trump, and spite some or all downballot Republican candidates by skipping these contests. This would magnify the normal roll-off effect,” he said. At the same time, “a significant number of reliable Republican voters may skip the presidential [ballot] but vote for some or all of the remaining races.” The result could be “lost votes for Trump at the presidential level and lost votes at the sub-presidential level for all other Republicans. That is the disaster scenario for the GOP.”

For complete coverage, see below.

Roughly Speaking podcast: American Agony, the Trump-Clinton town hall debate (The Baltimore Sun’s Roughly Speaking Podcast with Dan Rodricks)
Welcome to the GOP meltdown (The Week) 

Top image: Thomas Schaller presents at GRIT-X during UMBC’s 50th anniversary celebration. Photo by Jim Burger.