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2016 Post-Election Conference

By November 29, 2016July 21st, 2017No Comments

On December 4 & 5 the Wesleyan Media Project and Department of Government co-hosted a 2016 post-election conference featuring more than 20 prominent political scientists, non-partisan experts and PBS NewsHour Correspondent John Yang ’80.

Details on the panels and topics are below. Monday’s panels were live streamed. We have posted a selection of presentations and papers below.



Sunday, December 4

8:00 PM – 9:30 PM
An Overview of the 2016 Election

Location: Wesleyan University — PAC 001

The opening session will review what happened in voting/the polls, advertising/campaigning and what it was like to cover the campaign from a journalism perspective.

  • Brian Schaffner, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Sarah Bryner, Center for Responsive Politics
  • Michael Franz (WMP Co-Director), Bowdoin College
  • John Yang, PBS NewsHour


Monday, December 5

All panels on Monday are in Allbritton Hall, Rm 311 at Wesleyan University

9:00 AM – 10:20 AM
Panel 1: Media, Voting & Public Opinion

Panelists will discuss how media coverage played a role in the Trump victory, how factual corrections work (or don’t) in the Trump era, how mobile is shifting news consumption, and how anti-immigrant rhetoric affects public support for voter ID policies.

  • Moderator: Travis Ridout (WMP Co-Director), Washington State University
  • Danny Hayes, George Washington University
    • “The Media and the Election of Donald Trump”
  • Johanna Dunaway, Texas A&M
    • “Constant Access with Less Information: Voter Learning from Mobile Election News”
  • Brendan Nyhan, Dartmouth College
    • “Taking Corrections Literally But Not Seriously? The Effects of Information on Factual Beliefs and Candidate Favorability”
  • Adriano Udani, University of Missouri-St. Louis
    • “Making American Elections Great Again: Immigrant Resentment and Public Support for Voter Restrictions”


10:35 AM – 12:10 PM
Panel 2: Political Psychology – Gender, Racism & Emotions

Panelists will discuss the role of gender and feminism, how moral words shape emotional responses, explicit racism and efforts to combat it, how authoritarianism operates and how anger and anxiety shape intolerance in the 2016 election and beyond.

  • Moderator: Yamil Velez, Wesleyan University
  • Keena Lipsitz, Queens College CUNY
    • “How Moral Words Do the Work of Politics”
    • Download slides (0.2 MB, PPT)
  • Matthew MacWilliams, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    • “The Fear Behind the Fears: Authoritarianism, the 2016 Presidential Election in the United States and the Rising Populist Tide in Europe”
  • Leonie Huddy, Stony Brook University
    • “The Role of Gender and Feminism in the 2016 Presidential Election and Beyond”
    • Download slides (2.1 MB, PPT)
  • Antoine Banks, University of Maryland, College Park
    • “The 2016 Presidential Election: Is Calling Out Racism Still An Effective Strategy?”
  • Kathleen Searles, Louisiana State University
    • “Electoral Aftershocks: A Deonance Model of Political (In)tolerance and Acceptance of Negative and Unexpected Political Events”


1:20 PM – 2:40 PM
Panel 3: Campaign Finance, Special Interests & Outside Influence

Panelists will discuss what we know about spending and dark money in federal races this election cycle, whether money mattered, and how voting patterns spill over into consumer decisions and corporate/brand loyalty.

  • Moderator: Erika Franklin Fowler (WMP Co-Director), Wesleyan University
  • Robert Maguire, Center for Responsive Politics
    • “Secret Money in 2016: What changed and what stayed the same”
  • Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, Stetson University
  • Douglas Spencer, University of Connecticut
    • “Trump and the Society of the (Campaign Finance) Spectacle”
  • Jennifer Nicoll Victor, George Mason University
    • “Did Election 2016 Break Campaign Finance?”
    • Download slides (6 MB, PPT)


2:50 PM – 4:10 PM
Panel 4: Governing After the Election

Panelists will discuss what impact the results of the 2016 election are likely to have on our institutions and governing.

  • Moderator: Logan Dancey, Wesleyan University
  • Paul Collins, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    • “The Future of the Supreme Court and Lower Federal Courts”
    • Download slides (0.5 MB, PPT)
  • Kathryn L. Pearson, University of Minnesota
    • “Party and Committee Leadership in the Trump Administration”
  • Frances Lee, University of Maryland
      “Governing and Campaigning in a 50-50 Nation: Legislative Prospects after 2016”