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CAPR Holds Second Annual CAPR Conference

Feb 26, 2013

CAPR Holds Second Annual CAPR Conference

Back Row: Francisco Pedraza (Texas A&M), David Lowery and Suzanna Linn (PSU) Front Row: Jonathan Nagler (NYU), Meredith Sadin (Princeton and Analyst Institute), Robert Erikson (Columbia) and Ruy Teixeira (Center for American Progress)

"It's the economy, stupid." Or, is it?

During CAPR's second annual conference, distinguished researchers from across the country took a closer look at the conference topic The Economy and Elections: Responsiveness in the Context of Growing Demographic Diversity. The 2012 election was unique in that a sitting President won reelection despite a struggling economy. And this was, in part, due to the changing demographics of the electorate where groups such as racial minorities and unmarried women are becoming increasingly important.

The intimate day-long conference gave Penn State students and faculty, as well as other Pennsylvania university students, the opportunity to interact in a smaller setting with a diverse set of accomplished political scientists that work in academia, campaigns and non-profits.

Scholars shared empirical research regarding the differenct political preferences and behaviors of the groups that make up the new American electorate and how this affected the 2012 election. As well, they addressed the way in which campaigns are using increasingly sophisticated polling and modeling to target these groups. The conference concluded with a rousing round table discussion of election 2016, Nate Silvers' 2012 election predictions, and the ways in which our two-party system can better represent a diverse electorate.