2016 Election Observer: David Campbell

first_imgEditor’s Note: Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, The Observer will sit down with Notre Dame experts to break down the election and its importance to students. In this first installment, Managing Editor Jack Rooney asks Political Science Department Chair David Campbell about the upcoming primaries and the biggest issues of the campaign.Jack Rooney: Iowa caucuses in less than two weeks and New Hampshire votes about a week after that. With voting now imminent and Donald Trump still near the top of most Republican polls, does he actually have a shot at the nomination? David Campbell: This, of course, is the $64,000 question. Everything we know—or thought we knew—about presidential nominations has been upended by Trump. Based on past research, it would seem that he does not have a chance—his supporters have a low likelihood of turning out, the party establishment is against him and (it is easy to forget) he is actually not all that conservative. On the other hand, he keeps defying expectations. I would put his chances, however, at no better than 1 in 3.JR: For the Democrats, Hillary Clinton seems to be the consensus candidate within the party. Is there any way she doesn’t get the nomination?DC: She is definitely the odds-on favorite. While it is tempting to compare Sanders to Obama in 2008, when Obama was able to beat Clinton in spite of her frontrunner status, there are big differences between them. For one thing, Clinton’s lead in endorsements among the Democratic establishment is much greater this year than in 2008. And Sanders is no Obama. His difficulty attracting support among minorities is a huge problem for him.JR: The primary debates, especially the Republican debates, seem to have generated more interest and attention this campaign. Based on political science research, though, how much do the debates matter for candidates and voters?DC: Debates are like pep rallies, as they can fire up supporters. But they rarely change voters’ minds.JR: Moving beyond the upcoming primaries, in your research and opinion, which issue or issues are set to play the biggest role in the general election?DC: At home, income inequality and the uneven performance of the economy are sure to be top issues — that is, by many indicators, the economy is booming, and yet wages have stagnated. I am curious to see whether the Democratic nominee decides to make gun control a high priority issue. In the past, they have skirted this, but it has recently become more salient. Abroad, expect to hear a lot of discussion about ISIS and safeguarding Americans from terrorism. Historically, this would make the election like a combination of 2004 — a national security election — and 2008, which was focused more on the domestic economy.JR: More specific to a college campus like Notre Dame, which issue do you think should matter most to college students this election cycle?DC: I would pick two. First, the inequality in the current economic system is a pressing issue, as it means that America is losing its traditional middle class. This affects all of us. Second, the environment should continue to be a concern, as it is for many millennials already. While I do not expect the environment to be a top issue in the general election, this does not negate its importance for the rising generation.Tags: 2016, 2016 presidential campaign, 2016 Presidential Election, Debates, Donald Trump, hillary clinton, income inequality, Iowa Caucus, ISIS, New Hampshire Primary, political sciencelast_img read more

Festival Recap: CKS Paddlefest

first_imgIt’s that time of the year, folks. The Live Outside and Play team has landed in Colorful Colorado for the Elevation Outdoors portion of our tour. We spent our Memorial Day weekend on the banks of the beautiful Arkansas River in Buena Vista, Colorado. For many years now, CKS Paddlefest has taken over the town of Buena Vista during the official kick-off to the summer weekend. This was our second year and we were stoked to be back. Having just made the drive across the country we were still feeling a bit restless as we hopped in the van to make the two and a half hour drive to Buena Vista form Denver. We made sure to allow ourselves enough time for a quick hike near Twin Lakes, just south of Leadville. We also soaked up some Colorado sun while spending some time on the beach to take in the spectacular view of some of the Collegiate Peaks.We tell people all of the time that Buena Vista is one of our favorite towns. The picturesque camping, the easy access to natural forest and wilderness areas, tasty food, and good people all make this is worthy stop on your summer adventures. I could go on, but that will be the subject of another blog.Paddlefest is hosted in River Park. A pretty section of land right on the Arkansas River on the south end of town. Professional and amateur paddlers alike come from all over to get a piece of The Arkansas in any way that they can. A crowd favorite is the BV Kayak Rodeo. Kayakers surf the rapid below River Park and bust out all sorts of tricks. Have you ever seen someone front flip in a kayak on purpose?We took turns working the booth and taking Henry on mini adventures all weekend long. Everyone camps together in an area right next to the park and just outside of town. The best part about Buena Vista is that you can leave right from town with your boat, mountain bike, or hiking shoes and you’ll never have to drive.There’s something refreshing about working a festival the second time. You spend less time trying to figure out how the festival works and more time with the friends that you made last year. You know how to maximize your adventure time before the day starts.We hung around town on Monday following the festivals and organized a group trash cleanup on the banks of the river where the festival took place. We didn’t find much trash which was excellent but it was a perfect morning, and we always want to leave an area better than we found it. Huge shoutout to CKS and Eddyline Brewery for hooking up everyone who joined with some awesome prizes. On Monday afternoon we packed up and got ready to head back to Denver for a few days. In true LOAP fashion, we stopped for a hike on the way home. We hiked to a small lake nestled beneath Mt. Yale. Everyone had apparently gone home early because we had the trail to ourselves and it was wonderful.There is one way for this tour to be a reality, our sponsors! Sending a thank you shout out to our title sponsor Nite Ize, and all of our other awesome sponsors like Crazy Creek, National Geographic, Sea to Summit, Mountain House, Lowe Alpine, Old Town, Leki, HydraPak, UCO Gear and Wenzel. If you like the gear that keeps us groovin’ click here to enter for a chance to win our Grand Gear Giveaway!last_img read more

NUGAS on the search for new committee members

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram NUGAS (National Union of Greek Australian Students) are calling for young, enthusiastic Greek-Australian students to nominate as a Victorian Committee members.The prestigious, 40-year-old organisation will hold their AGM on Monday 31 May which will see an election of a new Victorian NUGAS Committee. Any NUGAS Victoria Members who are students of a tertiary institution and are also members of its affiliate clubs which are namely, Monash Hellenic Students Society, Melbourne University Greek Association, RMIT United Society of Hellenes Latrobe University Greek Society and Deakin University Greek Society are eligible to hold a position on the Committee. A maximum of three individuals can be elected from the same university club listed above.In addition, graduates of no more than three years standing are also eligible for election.The positions available include administrative co-ordinator, secretary, treasurer, social and cultural activities co-ordinator, club liaison officer, public relations officer, and general committee members.“This is a once in a lifetime experience to join NUGAS Victoria in their long-standing role as an active participant within the Greek and the mainstream community,” says current NUGAS Administrative Co-ordinator, Kerry Matthews. “The friendships, achievements and experience gained through NUGAS will benefit you and all Hellenic youth for many years to come.”The AGM will be held at the Greek Orthodox Community Melbourne Victoria (GOCMV) Building (168 Lonsdale St Melbourne- corner of Lonsdale and Russell streets) on Monday the 31st of May at 7.00pm.The agenda for the AGM will be confirmed shortly, with the main items being ratification of the Club’s Constitution, annual reports to presented by the Club’s Coordinators as well other pertinent persons and the election of a new committee to take charge from the close of the meeting.NUGAS endeavours to actively represent Greek-Australian students both on and off campus, on a state, national and international level, whilst simultaneously promoting the learning and appreciation of the Greek culture and language both amongst its members and the wider community.Help keep the Hellenic flame in youth alight and become a part of NUGAS 2010. For more information contact nugasvic@gmail.comlast_img read more