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Introductory Seminars for First-Year Students
The American Electorate in the Trump Era
This seminar will introduce students to the methods social scientists use to analyze public opinion, voting, and elections, with primary emphasis on the American electorate in the 2016 elections and the upcoming 2020 elections. Students will utilize major databases such as the American National Elections Studies (ANES) and the General Social Survey (GSS), as well as ongoing national panels. The seminar emphasizes analysis—not ideology, activism or personal catharsis. How are Americans in various demographic categories voting today and why? What is the relative importance of voter characteristics and identities, policy issues, the records and personal qualities of the candidates, the campaign itself, the performance of the Obama and Trump Administration, and a myriad of other factors?
Students will use these databases and the methods learned in the seminar to produce original quantitative research investigating such questions.