Countdown to #Campaign2016

Led by Ann Compton – Wednesdays at 4:00 PM in L166

September 21

The Campaign Lab

[49 Days to Election Day]
Using our Study Group as a weekly political laboratory dissecting the final 8 weeks of the 2016 campaign, we intend to discuss how an unpredictable and chaotic primary season led to presidential nominees and campaigns unlike any in modern history. We’ll keep a sharp focus on the impact of digital strategies by the candidates and the digital news sites muscling out old media. We’ll finish this initial session with a preview of the first presidential debate scheduled the following Monday.


September 28

Polling and Exit Polling - the Best and the Worst

[42 Days to Election Day]
The final polls of the campaign will soon be out in the field gathering a last snapshot of voter preferences. Gary Langer has personally run the polling for the Washington Post and ABC News for more than 20 years. He is known in the industry as a stickler for accuracy and quality of the polling questions. His analyses are the best in the country. Gary can also explain the very different role of exit polls which are treasure troves of data on WHY Americans cast the votes they did. Where are Voters getting their news?   

Guest Speaker
Gary Langer – WashPost/ABC News pollster


October 5

VEEP - Running Mates Don’t Matter

[35 Days to Election Day]
The day after the only Vice presidential campaign debate, we’ll examine the history of political tickets and you can help decide whether, despite some classic moments over the years, the choice of a running mate does little to help elect the presidential candidate. One month out from Election Day you will also try your hand at predicting what will happen in the final days before the polls close. It’s harder than it looks! 


October 12

What's an October Surprise?

[28 Days to Election Day]
Has political strategy become obsolete? Are the best laid plans destroyed by candidates themselves straying off message or by external events which grip the headlines at the speed of light? Will there be write-in votes?


October 19

The Worst Job in America - “Press Secretary”

[21 Days to Election Day]
Tales from the trails. Press moments that changed history. How campaigns treat reporters in 2016. Yes, it gets ugly out there.

Guest Speaker
Torie Clarke Press Secretary to Bush 41 campaign and to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld


October 26

Where Are Americans Getting Their News?

[14 Days to Election Day]
It’s my theory that voters in 2016 are NOT getting enough substantive debate over the issues that really define leadership and America’s future. Come show me where I am wrong. And, Follow the Money: where are campaign advertising dollars going? Television has lost its punch.

Guest Speaker
Devin Dwyer - Contributing Correspondent and Coordinating Producer at ABC News


November 2

The Countdown: How Were Your predictions?

[7 Days to Election Day]
Which issues are dominating the media headlines including race and trust? Which have been overlooked, such as the historic significance of the first woman nominee?

Also, does it appear some voters will stay home, unable to support either major party nominee? Could a third party dark horse cost a frontrunner the election?


November 9

What the Hell Just Happened?

The day after the election, we’ll enjoy 20/20 hindsight vision, right? Why did Americans choose as they did? Are the political parties dinosaurs? What will happen in the House and Senate in the dysfunctional Congress? How Will ‘New’ Media Cover the ‘New’ President?

And this: The 2020 presidential race starts today!