CCU professors answer students' questions, concerns about presidential election as vote counts continues

Coastal Carolina University professors weigh on historic presidential election

CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - The general election is a hot topic of discussion for most people across the country and that includes students and staff at Coastal Carolina University.

Four CCU political science professors hosted the ‘Election 2020 Round-Up’ for students Wednesday night on Zoom, answering students' concerns and questions about the voting process.

The virtual event also helped students to analyze this historic general election while taking a deeper look into why people across the country voted for certain candidates, particularly the presidential election.

The professors started off the Zoom event discussing why both President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are performing well in certain areas of the country during the election. They also weighed in on why some voters choose Trump or Biden.

“Race and gender are a big part of this story, not only for the candidate but also for the voter,” said Dr. Kaitlin Sidorsky, CCU Assistant Professor of Political Science.

“I can look at the southern states, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, which were close and in some cases not as favorable for Biden,” said Dr. Adam Chamberlain, CCU Professor of Political Science. “Let’s just say you have higher turnout in certain demographics or you have a situation where for instance, ‘I really want to vote for Biden. But I don’t know, my taxes.’ And then they hit the button for Trump at the last minute and that’s within reason.”

“If you look in south Texas where Hillary Clinton won some of these counties by 25-30% in 2016, Trump won a great deal of them [this election],” said CCU Assistant Professor of Political Science Dr. Drew Kurlowski. "And they’re 80 plus percent Hispanic.

“You see some interesting analysis starting to come out about the perception of masculinity may have played in different voting blocks with choosing Biden or Trump," said CCU Professor of Political Science, Dr. Holley Tankersley. "[And it’s] not just the idea that masculinity is driving male voters but also female voters might respond to that as well.”

“Joe Biden needs to thank women of color," said Sidorsky. "Particularly Black women, vote Democrat in high, high numbers. That is where he can thank his lucky stars they supported him.”

CCU staff discussed another concern some people had addressed about this election, whether people voted based on policy or their party ideologies. It’s an issue they hope voters will think about before the next election in 2024.

“I fear that it’s not about policy which is for me heartbreaking,” said Tankersley. “Because for me, that’s my ID and I wish that’s what people would consider when they vote. I do wonder how much this may come back to the old political science truth that it’s all about party ID and that’s all that matters.”

The professors almost wanted to remind people, part of the reason why some states are taking a bit longer to count ballots is because of the time it takes to prepare each absentee ballot to be scanned.

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