What's at Stake? The 2020 U.S. Election
On November 3, all eyes will be on the United States as voters go to the polls in one of the most important presidential elections in the country’s history. Americans are more polarized than they have been in decades, as Donald Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric has intensified emotions across the political spectrum. Many fear that fundamental democratic values, such as the rule of law, the right to vote and the right to peaceful protest, are under threat. The Senate is also in play, with implications for the Supreme Court and even the election itself. Will Donald Trump win a second term and will Republicans hold the Senate, or will Joe Biden and the Democrats sweep to power?
Just days before the election, our panel of experts will discuss where the electoral map stands, the key issues for voters, and how the election might reshape US politics in the coming years. Panelists will address how key groups, including Black, Latinx and women voters, will influence the outcome, as well as the role of COVID-19 and the president’s handling of the pandemic.
Professor, SFU Department of Political Science
Steven Weldon is a professor of political science at Simon Fraser University and is also the founding director of SFU’s Centre for Public Opinion and Political Representation. His research focuses on the politics of diversity and immigration, particularly how the recent rise of radical right, anti-immigrant politics is reshaping and threatening democracy in places like Canada, the United States and across Europe. Currently, Steven leads a research group on the Politics of Extremism and Democracy, which studies the psychological roots of radical right politics and the role of social media in spreading these ideas.
Niambi M. Carter
Associate Professor of Political Science & Director of Graduate Studies, Howard University
Dr. Niambi M. Carter is an associate professor of political science and director of graduate studies at Howard University. She earned her doctorate in political science from Duke University (2007), working primarily in the area of American politics with a specific focus on race and ethnic politics, Black politics, public opinion and political behavior.
Dr. Carter’s book, American While Black: African Americans, Immigration, and the Limits of Citizenship (Oxford University Press), investigates African American public opinion on immigration. She is also actively involved in other work that examines sanctuary cities, lynching and race in American politics, and the political ideology of African American Republicans.
Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of British Columbia
Richard Johnston is professor emeritus of political science at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Johnston’s research falls into three major areas: electoral systems, party systems and parties, communications media and campaigns, and social capital, diversity and the welfare state. He was research director for the National Annenberg Election Survey at the University of Pennsylvania.
He has written six books, including The End of Southern Exceptionalism: Class, Race, and Partisan Change in the Postwar South (Harvard University Press) and The 2000 Presidential Election and the Foundations of Party Politics (Cambridge University Press).
Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Politics and International Affairs, Northern Arizona University
Dr. Nuño-Perez is an associate professor and the Chair of the Department of Politics and International Affairs at Northern Arizona University. His research centers on political behaviour, race and ethnic politics, Latino politics, political mobilization, and partisanship. Dr. Nuño-Perez is also a research associate at the Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University. As a contributor to NBCNews-Latino, he writes about politics, immigration, political campaigns and life stories of Latinos making their imprint on the American story. Dr. Nuño-Perez is the Director of Communications and Senior Analyst at Latino Decisions as well.
Associate Professor, SFU Department of Political Science
Dr. Mark Pickup is an associate professor of political science at Simon Fraser University. He is a specialist in political behaviour, political psychology and political methodology. Substantively, his research primarily falls into three areas: political identities and political decision-making; conditions of democratic responsiveness and accountability; and polls and electoral outcomes.
Dr. Pickup’s research focuses on political information, public opinion, political identities, norms and election campaigns within North American and European countries. His methodological interests concern the analysis of longitudinal data (time series, panel, network, etc.) with secondary interests in Bayesian analysis and survey/lab experiment design.
Distinguished Full Professor, SFU Department of Political Science
Dr. Laurel Weldon is a Distinguished Full Professor in the Department of Political Science at Simon Fraser University. Previously, she held the position of Distinguished Professor at Purdue University in Indiana, where she taught for 18 years.
Her research focuses on comparative public policy, social movements, feminist theory and women’s human rights, especially violence against women. Her contributions include creating and analyzing global datasets on women’s rights and social movements as well as theoretical innovations in the study of human rights and gender politics.
This year, Dr. Weldon was named to the Royal Society of Canada (RSC). Membership in the RSC is Canada’s highest academic honour.
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