Week 7 (Apr. 30) Paul Beck – The 2024 Election: Current and Prospective

FEE: $10

Week 7 (Tuesday, April 30)


Paul Beck – The 2024 Election: Current and Prospective

With control of the presidency and Congress at stake in a deeply polarized electorate, and the integrity of the electoral process itself under challenge, 2024 is shaping up as one of the most important elections in American history. By the end of April, the Democratic and Republican presidential nominees should have been decided, pending ratification by their summer national conventions. Many of the parties’ candidates for all 435 House seats and the one-third of Senate seats on the ballot in 2024 also will have been chosen. The class will review the outcomes of these nomination contests and how the different rules by party and by state have governed them. Attention then will turn to the prospective general elections for both the presidency and the Congress, including how a third party or independent candidate might affect the presidential outcome. Presidential winners are determined by which candidate wins a majority of votes in the Electoral College, leaving the popular votes in only about a dozen “battleground” states to determine of the outcome. The contrast between the Electoral College and popular votes will be highlighted. By contract, congressional winners typically are determined by popular vote “pluralities.” Finally, how much the challenges to the electoral process and the violence that may accompany them will influence the outcomes and the very state of electoral democracy in America also will be discussed.

Paul A. Beck (1971 PhD, University of Michigan) is currently Professor Emeritus and Academy Professor of Political Science at The Ohio State University and international co-coordinator of the Comparative National Elections Project (u.osu.edu/cnep), which now includes almost 70 national election surveys conducted since 1990 in 31 different countries. He has been the primary investigator of dozens of public opinion polls during his career. Most recently, he co-directed multiple surveys of voters: for Britain and France in their 2017 elections; for the U.S. in its 2020 election, for Ohio in its 2022 primary, and for Brazil in its 2022 election. Over the course his career, Beck has published 9 books and numerous articles in leading professional journals on voting behavior, political parties, and public opinion; has received 5 research grants from the National Science Foundation; and has been a regular commentator on politics in the media and before community and professional groups. He is recipient of the Distinguished Scholar and Distinguished Service awards from Ohio State University and the American Political Science Association’s Goodnow and Eldersveld awards for distinguished service to the profession and career professional contributions to the field of political organizations and parties, respectively. He served as the political science department chair for 19 years at two different universities, 13 at Ohio State, and as dean of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Ohio State.