Published: Feb. 17, 2017

Four political scientists will offer their insights into the unexpected results of the 2016 elections, and what can we learn from them, in an event titled “The 2016 Elections: What Just Happened?”

The event will take place on Thursday, March 2, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Old Main Chapel on the University of Colorado Boulder campus.

The four experts who will speak are:

  • Jennifer Lawless, professor of government and director of the Women & Politics Institute at American University.
  • Seth Masket, professor of political science and chair of the Department of Political Science at University of Denver.
  • Anand Sokhey, associate professor of political science and associate director of the American Politics Research Lab at CU Boulder.
  • Jennifer Wolak, associate professor of political science at CU Boulder.

E. Scott Adler, CU Boulder professor of political science and director of the American Politics Research Lab, which is sponsoring the event, has asked the panelists to consider two main sets of questions:

  1. How did we end up with this result? What happened in the electorate? Did the campaign matter?
  2. How did scholars and pollsters get it so wrong?

Lawless, an expert on women in politics and the choice of running for office, plans to address these questions specifically from the perspective of female candidates and voters.

Masket will discuss election-forecasting models and talk about a baseline of how Clinton or Trump “should” have done as a way to evaluate how they actually did.

Sokhey will discuss patterns of political discussion in the general public as well as the role of religion during the election.  

Wolak will address how macropolitics helps explain this election outcome and why it is difficult for pollsters to foresee these kinds of outcomes.