The final installment of the U.S. Presidential Election lecture series
Reflecting the intense interest in the Nov. 4 election, a full house packed the library first floor lounge on Nov. 20 as Matthew Kerbel, Ph.D., political science department, analyzed the results and exit polls of the presidential and congressional elections, followed by responses by the three preceding speakers of the series, Dr. Lara Brown, Dr. Catherine Wilson and Dr. David Barrett.
Regarding the presidential race, Dr. Kerbel stated that the opinion polls prior to the election were largely correct. Significant numbers of young and new voters did vote, and white voters did not say they supported Barack Obama but then switch to John McCain, negating the so-called Bradley effect.
Obama’s successful campaign came about through building a new coalition, expanding the Democratic base geographically and demographically. McCain’s supporters were a less diverse coalition of mainly older people and those clustered around the Appalachians. A major problem for the McCain campaign was that attempts to appeal to social conservatives, such as the selection of Governor Sarah Palin as a running mate, drove away independent voters. (more…)