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Thursday, November 4, 2010

POLITICS: University of Delaware Panel Discusses November 2, 2010 Elections ~Ramon Federal Reporting...

Staff Reporter
• Thursday, November 04, 2010
A panel of University of Delaware professors talked about the results and implications of the November 2, 2010 U.S. elections

On November 3, 2010, Ralph Begleiter, host of National Agenda and former CNN world correspondent, presided over a panel discussion of recent elections at the University of Delaware’s sim, at: .

Professor David Wilson explained that some pollsters, such as Pew, were more accurate in predicting the results than others, such as Gallup.

Professor Jason Mycoff talked about the implications of the elections for Congress and the President. He discussed some of the things we can expect in the future. He said that party leadership in the Congress would be drawn from establishment figures. He said to watch the Energy and Commerce Committee because of their involvement in cap and trade. He said to watch for Rep. Darrell Issa to launch more investigations of the Administration. He expects changes in oversight operations as well.

He talked about possible pitfalls. The Republicans, he said, are planning to decentralize their procedures, which might lead to problems. There will also be a problem in bringing establishment and insurgent members together. There’s also the problem that new schedules and other reforms may generate push-back from members. There’s also the problem of how to equitably cut spending.

Prof. Jennifer Lambe spoke about the impact of new rules on campaign speech and funding, namely, the Citizens United case. She explained with that Supreme Court decision allows and doesn’t allow, saying that it does allow corporations to use their general funds for electioneering purposes. They can spend money to elect or defeat candidates and they can do it right up to election time. Due to these corporate expenditures, she said, overall campaign spending was up 35%. Citizens United also allows non-profit organizations to get involved in the electoral process without revealing who their donors are.

Also discussed were the election results in Delaware itself, including that Democrats did well among moderates. He said that more spending and more negative ads, two national trends, also were present in Delaware. He said he wasn’t sure these trends would be continued. He pointed out that the sole Delaware representative will still be in the minority, this time as a Democrat instead of as a Republican, as in the recent past. He said there wouldn’t be much change overall in Delaware’s presence in Washington, D.C.

Prof. Begleiter talked about technology and media in the campaign. Meet-ups in 2004, texting in 2008, and Twitter in 2010 were the dominant electoral technologies, he said. Also prominent this year was the use of video-sharing sites as a venue for the airing of candidate videos. One should consider, he warned, who is really tweeting on a candidate’s Twitter feed. Google ads also played a part in this election, he said. He also referred to the increased use of “robo-calls” and postal mail.

He observed in closing that this was a “benchmark year for remote-control candidacies,” in which well-financed television ads played a major part in deciding outcomes. “Distant money,” he said, played out as an important factor in this election.

During the question period, people asked about gridlock, exit polling, Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, Iraq, medical marijuana initiatives and media bashing.



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