Making sense of the 2012 presidential election

In making sense of the 2012 elections, U-M political scientists came to the same conclusion about what led to President Obama’s victory: race and gender affected which candidate voters chose.

Donald Kinder, Vincent Hutchings and Michael Traugott

From left: Donald Kinder, Vincent Hutchings and Michael Traugott. Photo by Eva Menezes.

Less than 24 hours after most ballots were counted – except for Florida – Vincent Hutchings, Donald Kinder and Michael Traugott offered their election analysis during a Wednesday panel at the U-M Institute for Social Research.

Most national polls accurately predicted a close U.S. presidential race. However, until the final few weeks before the elections, it was unclear how race and gender would affect the outcome. Exit polls showed several results that could impact future elections, especially for the Republican Party, the experts said. Continue reading

2011 Miller Converse Lecture

M. Kent Jennings greets Anne BarnesU-M emeritus professor M. Kent Jennings, now a professor of political science at the University of California-Santa Barbara, greets Anne Barnes, the wife of long-time Michigan colleague and an emeritus professor Samuel H. Barnes, background, on Thursday, April 7, at a reception preceding the 2011 Miller Converse Lecture at the U-M Institute for Social Research (ISR). Continue reading

John Garcia: Director, ICPSR Resource Center for Minority Data

John Garcia (Photo by U-M Photo Services)

As spring yard sales pop up where snow piles recently sat, you might notice a barrel-chested man with silvery hair and a quick slanting smile expertly evaluating the items on display. He’ll likely be decisive, but ready to stop if an interesting object—or comment—catches his attention. John Garcia, who joined ICPSR last summer as director of the Resource Center for Minority Data, became expert at prowling yard sales during his 38 years as a political scientist at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Continue reading