Background Briefing: November 2, 2020


When Trump Loses Is He Likely to Start Looking Into Countries Without an Extradition Treaty with the U.S?

We will begin with Sean Wilentz, Professor of American History at Princeton University and author of The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to LincolnThe Politicians and the Egalitarians and his latestNo Property in Man: Slavery and Anti-slavery at the Nation’s Founding. He joins us to discuss his article at Rolling Stone, “How Donald Trump Plans to Overthrow American Democracy. Current polls suggest the president cannot win the election. That doesn’t mean he can’t steal it“.  And while Trump has made it clear he won’t commit to a peaceful transition of power, it is likely that in spite of all the alarming scenarios of chaos and civil war, when the votes come in with a resounding victory for Biden, Trump will quietly slink off and start considering what country to live in that doesn’t have an extradition treaty with the U.S.


Is Trump Losing the Rural Vote?

Then we go to Iowa to get a sense of how the rural states that voted for Trump in 2016 are trending towards Biden due to Trump’s mishandling of the pandemic and his trade wars with China that have hurt farmers. Michael Lewis-Beck a Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Iowa whose interests include comparative elections, election forecasting and political economy and is the author of The American Vote Revisited and Forecasting Elections, joins us to discuss how Biden is likely to win Iowa and Republican Senator Joni Ernst is likely to lose her seat. 


The Last Call in Our Record-Breaking $8 Billion Election

Then finally we speak with Travis Ridout, Distinguished Professor of Government and Public Policy in the School of Politics, Philosophy and Public Affairs at Washington State University and co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project which tracks political advertising. He joins us to discuss the record-breaking $8 billion election underway and assess what campaign advertising works and what doesn’t in our money-driven political system.