Even with the flaws and shortcomings in the current system, elections in America are critically important events that shape public policy and the character of our nation. The Goldfarb Center has launched a slate of diverse curricular, cocurricular, and scholarly initiatives to explore the past, present, and future of elections in the United States. Working in the state that a recent report from the Center for American Progress Action Fund calls the nation’s healthiest democracy, students will have hands-on opportunities to better understand the strengths and limitations of elections.
Goldfarb Center Election Polling
See the Colby College/Boston Globe Election Poll developed by Professor and Goldfarb Center director Dan Shea.
Colby boasts some of the country’s leading scholars in political science. Through the Colby Election Center, these experts provide commentary to media across the country on topics relating to the 2016 Election. Click here for a complete list >>>
Election Center Events
From civility to polarization, campaign finance to student voting, some of the nation’s leading political scholars and experts will come to Colby to lead lectures and other events focusing on the most pressing topics and trends related to the 2016 election. Events are being added on a rolling basis, so check back regularly. You can find an archive of past election initiative events here.
Continuity and Change in Congressional Elections
Sept. 20 | 7 p.m. | Ostrove Auditorium, Diamond Building
Paul Herrnson, professor of Political Science, University of Connecticut
The elections of 2016 are being held during a period of deep voter unrest and general dissatisfaction with the presidential candidates, the political parties, and politics in general. The larger political environment undoubtedly will influence the tone and outcomes of some congressional elections. However, congressional campaigns have their own dynamics and idiosyncrasies. This talk will analyze who runs for office, who wins, and the key factors that differentiate winners from losers. Other topics include the impact of super PACs and other outside spending groups, and the implications of congressional elections for representation, policymaking, and democracy more broadly.
Pulling Back the Curtain on the 2016 Election
Sept. 27 | 7 p.m. | The Liberty Hotel Ballroom, Boston, MA.
Dan Shea P’18, director, Goldfarb Center; professor of government
Michael Cuzzi ’98, senior vice president, VOX Global
Shira Center, political editor, Boston Globe
This year’s race to the White House has been anything but conventional, setting precedents in everything from campaign strategy to political endorsements, campaign finance, and voter behavior. Well before the nominees were established, experts were left scratching their heads in an attempt to predict what will happen next, let alone the final outcome. This unique approach to examining the election will offer an array of perspectives — from a practitioner, an academic, and a journalist — to help make sense of this historic election. Registration is required for this event. Please click here to register >>>
President Trump! And Other Plausible Impossibilities
Oct. 5 | 7 p.m. | Ostrove Auditorium, Diamond Building
E.J. Dionne, columnist, The Washington Post; senior fellow, Brookings Instituteion
Eliana Johnson, Washington editor, National Review Magazine
David Shribman, editor-in-chief, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Join us for a discussion on the 2016 election, which in many ways has shattered the mold. This panel of experts will explore a host of topics: candidate strategy, voter attitudes and preferences, media nuances, and long-term implications. The discussion will help us understand the forces that led to these changes and what lies ahead for American politics.