Unruh Institute hosts election viewing party

first_imgThe Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics hosted a live election watch party at the Ground Zero Performance Café at USC on Tuesday night. The watch party consisted of a live streaming of midterm election results alongside a panel discussion by distinguished faculty and guest speakers to analyze and discuss the results.Election 2014 · Above, Dan Schnur, director of the Unruh Institute of Politics, moderates a panel discussion during a live election viewing party at the Ground Zero Performance Café on Tuesday. – Chandler Golan | Daily TrojanThe discussion featured panelists Robert Shrum, Warschaw Chair in Practical Politics and professor in the Department of Political Science; Sam Blakeslee, founding director of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo Institute for Advanced Technology and Public Policy; Rick Jacobs, deputy chief of staff of operations for Los Angeles  Mayor Garcetti’s office; Jennifer Massey, president of USC College Republicans; and Nick Germain, political director of USC College Democrats.Moderating the analysis of election results was Dan Schnur, executive director of the Unruh Institute. Schnur opened up the panel discussion by asking each panelist to state what Republicans and Democrats should be looking for in this midterm election. Panelists all seemed to agree that the Republican Party would make gains in the Senate.Massey commented on the decisive role Republicans play in this year’s midterm elections.“Election day, I feel, is America’s last chance to judge President Obama’s policies, so I think it is really important that the people that are not happy with them go out and vote, and I think that is what is happening,” Massey said. “I am really pleased with how it [the election] turned out because I feel that in this election, people came together and voted as Americans, not as Democrats or Republicans — they voted on the policies that were in place. It was not as partisan.”Germain discussed the losses within the Democratic Party in Congress.“It looks to me like the Democrats are probably going to come up short on this midterm in terms of the U.S. Senate, and I believe the Democrats are also set to lose seats in the House,” Germain said. “However, here in the state of California, I believe that we again, like 2010, will buck the national trend and we will retain dominance in all statewide elected offices and retain strong majorities in both houses of the legislature.”Shrum projected a loss for Democrats in Senate and discussed change among the results unlikely.“If you look at what has to happen for Democrats to do something unprecedented, its gonna require a lot of breaks. I think some of the breaks have happened,”  Shrum said. “Bottom line is, you’re probably going to see the Republicans take control of the Senate. It’s possible they won’t, but what didn’t happen so far is a wave — the kind of big thing that happened in 2006, when Democrats had to win every single close race to take over the Senate and that is exactly what they did. That is not what is happening right now. In fact, the generic congressional vote is very close in the exit polls, and Democrats may be cycling in.”Blakeslee also commented on the outcome of midterm elections.“I think sort of a long-term take away is regardless of what the specific numbers are today, is that there is a more energized, traditional base inside the party that does not want to lose because a more extreme, or flawed, fan base that end up making it through the primary system,” Blakeslee saidBlakeslee also discussed the importance of assessing Colorado’s results in the midterm election. He, like other panelists, mentioned Colorado as an indicator of whether or not Republicans are starting to gain leverage in Congress.Massey said that she would pay close attention to the female Republican candidates in this midterm election who could make history by breaking race and age barriers. She mentioned women such as Utah’s 4th congressional district candidate, Mia Love, and Elise Stefanik, New York’s 21st congressional district candidate.Schnur then asked panelists to discuss party candidates for the 2016 presidential elections.Shrum and Germain both agreed that Hillary Clinton would dominate the Democratic Party in the presidential race.“I think the only person who could win over Hillary Clinton, is Hillary Clinton,” Shrum said.Shrum went on to project that Republicans will gain great wins in taking control of Senate.“I think this will be a very good night for Republicans. I think they have basically picked up to six seats in the Senate and as many as nine … which would take Democrats down to 46 seats in the Senate,” Shrum said.Alex Kludjian, a senior majoring in political science, attended the event and was excited about the future of the Republican Party.“Ultimately, I think this election has been a decisive victory for Republicans and a referendum on the failed policies of the Obama administration,” Kludjian said. “I think from here on out, now that Republicans do have control of both Congress and the Senate there is a big opportunity for the reinvigoration for the party and its message, so I’m really excited about our future.”Christopher Perse, a sophomore majoring in political science and history, found Republican successes predictable.“I’m not really surprised the [amount of] seats Republicans took this election. I am surprised that they had so much success, but I am not surprised that they picked up the Senate,” Perse said. “I was a little surprised on some of the results in states like Florida. I’m surprised Rick Scott won the governorship and I am really surprised the medical marijuana proposition didn’t pass.”last_img

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