Dr. Roberds Faculty Lecture Investigates Midterm Elections

Tiffany Wood
The Paw Print

This article originally ran in the November 4 edition of Paw Print.  Because of factual errors, this article is reprinted in full with corrections.

The Faculty Lecture on 27 October featured Dr. Stephen Roberds, a political science professor at ASC. The topic was the Midterm Elections and was timed perfectly, the week before Election Day. He discussed what could be expected in these elections and also, with a little pushing and goading from some of his colleagues present at the lecture, made a prediction about the outcome in numbers.
As he said during his lecture, the one last Wednesday can be considered a “part two” to the lecture he gave in April. This time around he only discussed the Senate and House of Representatives during the midterms in depth. He presented those attending with a graph showing the trends of the Midterm Elections since 1954 and noted a trend that the president’s party, while gaining seats in Presidential Election years, tended to lose on average 16 seats during the midterms.
Dr. Roberds predicts that this year, the Democratic Party will lose 50 seats, addressing his Democratic colleagues and their views as “too liberal.” When asked by an attendee what he thought about Obama being more in the middle than presidents usually are, Roberds nixed that and explained that Obama is giving the idea that he’s in the middle and trying to meet the Republicans halfway when really he is just alienating them and keeping his stance to the extremes of the Liberal views. He encouraged people to know the issues and to research their candidates before making a choice on Election Day.
During his discussion, he also addressed the presidential race of 2008 and the way that Obama went about choosing his advisors. He mentioned that if Ken Salazar had been allowed to stay as a Senator in Colorado, the Democrats might have a better chance this year because he has been in politics so long, he has positive name recognition and Salazar had a following of Democratic voters guaranteed to him. By taking away one of Colorado’s best known Democrats and replacing him with Michael Bennet, who no one had heard of, was a big mistake and that the president had essentially shot himself in the foot on that issue. Bennet does not have name recognition and had never ran for or been elected to a state office before.
Dr. Roberds brought in help from his colleagues where necessary during the question and answer section of his lecture. Being in the History/Government/Philosophy department has its perks because basic American History, as was utilized in Dr. Roberds’ lecture, is easily found. He discussed what was happening in American History when there were losses from the presidential party in Congress of more than 25 seats from 1954 to 2008. His insight into the election histories was helpful in noticing a trend of loss and only twice since 1954 has there been a gain during the midterm elections.
The next faculty lecture will be held Wednesday, 17 November at 7 P.M. in Porter Hall 130, the big lecture hall. The faculty lecturer will be Dr. Robert Astalos, Associate Professor of Physics, with the topic “Kepler and the Search for Other Earths.”

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