UCR Scholars Weigh in on Super Tuesday

UC Riverside scholars are available to discuss what’s at stake in the sizzling primary season

election 2016 logoRIVERSIDE, Calif. – Voters in a dozen states and one U.S. territory (Democrats in American Samoa) will cast their ballots in presidential primary elections on Super Tuesday, March 1.

UC Riverside scholars are available to discuss a variety of issues related to the primary elections, from the impact of voter ID laws on African American voters in particular, to the delegate math at stake in Super Tuesday.


Alicia Arrizón, professor of gender and sexuality studies
(951) 827-4359

Arrizón is available to discuss sexism – among voters, the media, and GOP contenders – in the 2016 elections. “The last Democratic primary race (2008) was epitomized by ample evidence of sexism in electoral politics by candidates and the mainstream media. The 2016 campaign is no different,” she says. “The war on women continues to be a rampant problem in 2016.”

John W. Cioffi, associate professor of political science
(951) 827-7269

Cioffi is available to discuss the rise of candidates challenging the mainstream party elites and orthodoxies. “The ascendancy of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders is the clearest sign yet of the profound creeping legitimacy crisis afflicting American politics and may herald a far-reaching change in electoral and party politics,” he says. “It took us decades to reach this point, through the corruption and capture of politics and government by wealthy interests, and the decay of governmental capacity to govern responsively or even competently. Today, the center is no longer holding, or, rather, the center is no longer occupied by party elites and the reigning political establishment of both parties.”

Cassandra Guarino, professor of education and public policy
(951) 827-5992

Guarino is available to discuss topics related to education that have emerged in the campaign, notably making college tuition free and criticism of Common Core State Standards. “Making college tuition free (mainly Sanders), seems unrealistic to me,” she says. “The federal government doesn’t have jurisdiction over the states when it comes to education, and the state systems are the ones that provide subsidies to state colleges and universities. Where the federal government has typically played a large role in college affordability is through financial aid. It’s definitely an area that can be increased and targeted more carefully to those in need.

With regard to Common Core (mainly Trump and other Republicans), these are not federal standards, and it’s up to the states to adopt them. Not all states have adopted them, but those that have not have often adopted similar standards in the effort to improve upon old standards, Guarino says. The CCSS improve upon older sets of standards by emphasizing critical thinking, problem solving, and the types of skills that are needed to succeed in a global economy.

Jennifer Merolla, professor of political science
(951) 827-4612

Merolla is available to discuss voter decision-making in the primaries, the delegate math at stake for Super Tuesday, and, on the Republican side, the difficulty the party faces in cohering around a non-Trump alternative. She also can discuss the impact of terrorism on the candidacies of Democratic women.

Men are viewed as stronger leaders than women, and the Democratic Party is viewed as less capable than the Republican Party when it comes to leadership, national security and foreign policy, she says. When terrorism is in the headlines, these voter perceptions hurt women candidates in the Democratic Party but not the male candidates, whose gender counteracts the party’s weak reputation on national security. Terrorism headlines also do not hurt women in the GOP, whose reputation of being tough on terrorism appears to inoculate its female office-seekers from the weak-on-national-security stereotype ascribed to Democratic women.

Dylan Rodríguez, professor of ethnic studies
(951) 827-4707

Rodríguez is available to discuss the impact of voter ID laws on African Americans in particular, and what accounts of low levels of voter turnout among this population group.

“Voter ID laws were essentially created for the purposes of strengthening U.S. racial apartheid in government and elections,” he said. “The long legacy of American apartheid segregation has created an electoral system that remains stubbornly racist in both its implementation and outcomes – from gerrymandering to the disenfranchisement of people with criminal convictions (which has focused primarily on disenfranchising African Americans with criminal convictions),” he says.

“It is clear that the stubbornly institutionalized hyper-policing, racist criminalization, and structural impoverishment of black populations across the U.S. continue to make a fraud of any pretensions that the American electoral system is even remotely reflective of democratic (much less reparative and anti-racist) principles.”

Media Contact

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E-mail: bettye.miller@ucr.edu
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