University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service Dean James L. “Skip” Rutherford III will participate in the discussion “What 2018 Means for 2020: A Conversation on the Midterm Elections” at Lyon College on Thursday, December 6.
Rutherford will be joined by Lyon’s William Jefferson Clinton Professor of International Politics Bradley Gitz for the 4 p.m. discussion in the Maxfield Room of Edwards Commons on the Lyon College campus. The event, sponsored by the Lyon College political science department, is free and open to the public.
The event will be streamed live through the Lyon College Facebook page.
“Midterm elections are generally viewed as referendums on the sitting president and the president’s party,” said Rutherford. “What made 2018 unique was the significant increase in voter turnout when compared to previous mid-terms.”
As for his predictions, Rutherford said, “The Democrats won the national popular vote by large margins in 2016 and 2018 and likely will again in 2020, but Democrats will still face an electoral college challenge in 2020. Based on the 2018 vote, there are still some of the same toss-up states but others that probably should be added or removed from the list.”
When asked about the midterm election results and his predictions for 2020, Gitz, a freelance political columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, said, “I would argue that November 6 was a generally good day for Democrats and bad for the GOP… On the other hand, the Democrat take-over of the House might also actually boost Donald Trump’s re-election prospects (if he indeed chooses to run) by giving him the perfect foil of a Democratic House run by Nancy Pelosi.”
Like Rutherford, Gitz looks forward to the conversation.
“This is a case of two friends with great interest in politics but sometimes different views getting together to discuss what the midterms on November 6 mean for the next two years, including for the re-election prospects of President Trump,” he said. “It will be interesting to hear how Skip [Rutherford] sees things.”
Lyon College’s John Trimble Sr. Professor of Political Philosophy Scott Roulier will moderate the discussion.