ATHENS, Ga – Visiting political scientists John Sides and Lynn Vavreck will shed light on the 2016 presidential election during a lecture on Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 3:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries.
This election cycle has confounded pundits and political observers alike. How did Donald Trump win the Republican nomination? How did Bernie Sanders mount such an unexpected challenge to Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary? As Election Day draws near, the race remains close and both sides are maintaining a rigorous campaign schedule. Sides and Vavreck will offer insights on their method for analyzing what will move voters come November.
Sides is an associate professor of political science at George Washington University and a cofounder of the politics blog The Monkey Cage, hosted by the Washington Post. Vavreck is a professor of political science and communications at the University of California, Los Angeles and a regular contributor to the politics blog The Upshot, hosted by the New York Times. Both skilled at writing for a popular audience, the pair teamed up in 2013 to co-author The Gamble: Choice and Chance in the 2012 Presidential Election. Using a “moneyball” approach, they drew on quantitative data, social science research, and on-the-ground reporting to provide an account of the election and factors that led to the re-election of President Barack Obama over challenger Mitt Romney.
“This election  was actually supposed to be a toss-up, and from that perspective the tightening polls make sense,” said Sides. He adds that their lecture will be “trying to explain how we got here and, perhaps, where we’ll be by Election Day.”
The lecture is being co-sponsored by the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies and the Department of Political Science. The event is free and open to the public, followed by a light reception and book signing with the speakers.
This event is part of Ready, Steady, Vote! a series of events spotlighting all things presidential during the 2016 election season. For more information on this event and other programs in the series visit http://www.rbrl.blogspot.com or call (706) 542-5788.