News & Media

trump

Even if Trump is as smart as he says he is, does it matter? Maybe not.

February 14, 2018

By Costas Panagopoulos and Kendall Bailey

President Trump is a self-proclaimed “very stable genius,” who says he’s “like, really smart,” and he has a history of boasting about his high IQ and challenging others to IQ tests. Of course, we don’t know his IQ, at least not yet. But even if he is as smart as he claims, would that make him a better president?

You might think the obvious answer is yes. After all, cognitive capacity is the single best predictor of job performance across a wide range of occupations. But the relationship between IQ and presidential greatness, while present, is not necessarily large.... Read more about Even if Trump is as smart as he says he is, does it matter? Maybe not.

government shutdown

Government shutdown: What can break the impasse in Washington

January 22, 2018

By Greg St. Martin

The United States federal government shut down this weekend, as Congress couldn’t pass a short-term spending plan. Both Republicans and Democrats dug in their heels and blamed each other for the impasse.

There was some optimism Sunday that a bipartisan group of moderate Senators could reach an agreement to reopen federal agencies Monday morning. But late Sunday the Senate adjourned without a deal to end the shutdown, and a new vote was postponed until Monday at noon.... Read more about Government shutdown: What can break the impasse in Washington

donald trump

High stakes for politics, SCOTUS in 2018

January 4, 2018

By Greg St. Martin

This story is part of our multi-part series looking at some of the big stories and bright ideas primed to make headlines in 2018.

Politics consumed the national discourse in 2017, as the White House challenged conventional norms, Republicans and Democrats clashed over major pieces of legislation, and special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation loomed large over President Donald Trump’s first year in office.

The political stakes will be just as high, if not higher, in 2018, and the Supreme Court will be hearing cases with major implications for the First Amendment, according to Northeastern faculty experts.... Read more about High stakes for politics, SCOTUS in 2018

doug jones

Jones' Senate Victory: Vote for Morality, Referendum on Trump, Warning for 2018

December 14, 2017

By Molly Callahan

On Tuesday, Alabama voters elected Democrat Doug Jones to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions in a move that overturned a generation of Republican victories in the deep red state. Jones defeated Republican Roy Moore by a little more than 1 percentage point in an election that saw polling figures swing wildly back and forth, particularly as Moore faced multiple sexual misconduct allegations. As of Wednesday evening, Moore hadn’t conceded, citing the narrow margin of victory.

Jones’ victory—as well as other notable Democratic victories this year in Virginia and New Jersey—further signals the challenges Republicans face going into next year’s midterm elections, according to Northeastern political science professor Costas Panagopoulos.... Read more about Jones' Senate Victory: Vote for Morality, Referendum on Trump, Warning for 2018

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What happens if the government shuts down? Faculty experts explain

December 6, 2017

By Molly Callahan

The U.S. government is going to run out of money on Friday. That is, unless lawmakers pass a stopgap measure that would extend government spending through Dec. 22, giving them two extra weeks to negotiate a more permanent budget.

Tied up in the same Congressional rancor that’s stymying a budget deal is funding for two crucial community healthcare programs. Their existing federal funding ran out weeks ago, and they’ve been squeaking by on state aid since.... Read more about What happens if the government shuts down? Faculty experts explain

Paul Manafort

First charges in Russia investigation 'a turning point'

October 31, 2017

By Greg St. Martin

Three former aides to President Donald Trump—including his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort—have been charged as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. These developments mark a “turning point” in the investigation, according to one Northeastern political scientist.

“In many ways, this investigation just got real,” Costas Panagopoulos, professor of political science and an expert on political campaigns, said on Monday.... Read more about First charges in Russia investigation 'a turning point'

hillary clinton

Did Comey give Trump the presidency? We don't think so.

September 18, 2017

By Aaron Weinschenk and Costas Panagopoulos

With the release of Hillary Clinton’s campaign memoir last week, political observers have turned their attention back to the 2016 presidential race.

And that, inevitably, leads to James Comey. A central debate in the campaign post-mortems is whether Comey, then the FBI director, tipped the election in Donald Trump’s favor with the Oct. 28 release of a letter announcing the review of possible new evidence in the Clinton email investigation. Some journalists, political analysts and Clinton herself contend that the letter’s release cost her the presidency. “Absent that,” Clinton told NBC last week, “I believe the evidence shows I would have won.”... Read more about Did Comey give Trump the presidency? We don't think so.

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Do military veterans really win more elections? Only in 'purple' districts.

July 20, 2017

By Jeremy M. Teigan

If the Democratic Party retakes the House of Representatives in 2018, it may owe its success to military veterans’ candidacies. That, at least, is the perspective emerging from news reporting in recent weeks.

This month, a story in the New York Times reported on 20 Democratic military veterans hoping to unseat Republicans in next year’s midterm elections, writing that party leaders believe that “candidates with a military pedigree [are] an appealing contrast to entrenched, career politicians.” This week, the San Antonio Express-News suggested much the same thing.... Read more about Do military veterans really win more elections? Only in 'purple' districts.

barack obama

Reading the tea leaves: a Q&A with Costas Panagopoulos

December 19, 2013

By R. Michael Alvarez

In a matter of months, federal elections in the United States will enter full-swing. I recently asked Costas Panagopoulos, a professor at Fordham University and an expert on political campaigns, a few questions about the important elections recently conducted in the United States and what we might learn from those recent campaigns.

Recently there have been three important elections in the United States with potential national implications: the special election for New Jersey’s US Senate seat, and gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia. What are the lessons that can be learned from these three important elections?... Read more about Reading the tea leaves: a Q&A with Costas Panagopoulos