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Policy Pub: "Unpacking the 2018 Midterm Elections: What Happened and What’s Next?"

Policy Pub is a recurring series of brief, plain-language talks by faculty of the college on public policy issues that affect everyone. Policy Pub takes place in a relaxed social atmosphere. They are free and open to the general public. No experience or prior knowledge is required. After the brief talk, audiences will have the opportunity to ask questions and make comments.

Every four years, over 60% of the eligible voting public turns out to cast a vote for president. But control of Congress often hinges on midterm elections, in which only roughly 40% of eligible Americans vote. How can we best understand the outcomes of the November 6, 2018 midterm House and Senate races? What factors generally shape national- and race-level outcomes, and which were especially important this year? Ultimately, how does low turnout affect these elections?

After discussing the consistencies and novelties of 2018 vis-à-vis past midterm elections, Assistant Professor of Political Science Douglas Ahler will turn to what comes next: What will the relationship be like between the 116th Congress and President Trump? Will government improve, or will gridlock and polarization continue to be the norm? And what, if anything, does 2018 suggest about the upcoming 2020 presidential election?

Doug Ahler's research focuses on American politics, public opinion, representation, and political psychology. 

His current research questions include: How do citizens evaluate policy representation? Why are ordinary Democrats and Republicans so polarized despite relatively low political interest? How do Americans conceive of the policymaking process? And, ultimately, how competent is the American electorate, and what are the implications for democracy?

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 at 5:30pm to 6:30pm

Backwoods Bistro 401 E. Tennessee St., Tallahassee

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Lecture, Speakers & Lectures, Free to the Public


Colleges, Social Sciences and Public Policy, College of, Social Sciences and Public Policy


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Contact Name:

Tonja Guilford

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